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Public Statements

American Jobs Act of 2011--Motion to Proceed--Resumed

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we have done a lot of sparring back and forth over the last week trying to get a vote on the President's so-called jobs proposal, and now we have before us cloture on the motion to proceed to the second version of the President's so-called jobs proposal. It strikes me it would be appropriate to try one more time to see if we could get a vote on the actual proposal. So I have indicated to my good friend the majority leader that I am going to ask unanimous consent that we vote on both the original President Obama jobs proposal and the revised Obama jobs proposal upon which we currently have pending cloture on the motion to proceed. It strikes me this would expedite the process. The President has been out on the campaign trail asking us to vote on his proposal and vote on it now without change. If that is a vote our friends on the other side do not want to have, we would be happy to have a vote on the President's proposal as changed, which I gather he also supports.

So bearing that in mind, I now ask unanimous consent that the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S. 1660, the newly introduced jobs act, be vitiated, the Senate proceed to its consideration, the bill be read a third time, and the Senate proceed to a vote on passage of the bill, with no intervening action or debate; provided further that if the bill does not receive 60 votes on passage, the bill then be placed back on the calendar.

I further ask unanimous consent that immediately following that vote, the Senate proceed to the consideration of S. 1549, the President's job package; that the bill be read the third time and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill, with no intervening action or debate; provided further, that if the bill doesn't receive 60 votes on passage, the bill then be placed back on the calendar.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?

Mr. REID. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, everyone should understand, on Thursday, on this side we agreed to a vote on the President's jobs bill. There have been a number of things that have occurred since then.

We seek today, with this motion, to proceed to get to the jobs bill--a good jobs bill. We seek to begin a legislative process. Senators from my side and Senators from the other side--the Republican side--have said they want to be able to get a bill where they can offer ideas to create jobs. I think that is commendable. That is what we seek to do to get on this bill.

I ask my colleague, the Republican leader, if he might modify his request to allow the Senate to proceed to the bill so we might begin consideration of an amendment to the bill. I also say, in response to modification, I have said to my friends on the Republican side of the aisle and on the Democratic side, as I said last Thursday, the President's original package we have talked about for some time. If people want to vote on that, they can vote on that. I think it would be to everyone's best interest to move to proceed to this so we can make this legislation even better than it now is. I ask for that modification.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the Republican leader so modify his request?

Mr. McCONNELL. I have been trying for a over a week to get a vote on the President's so-called jobs proposal, which he has been asking us to give him repeatedly. Our friends on the other side are not only objecting to voting on the President's original jobs proposal but his jobs proposal as modified.

The practical result, however, of voting for cloture on the motion to proceed, rather than going on and voting on the bill, as the President has asked us to do on 12 occasions out on the campaign trail, is we will not be able to proceed to one of the things that is rare here--we actually have a bipartisan agreement to go forward on these important trade agreements, pass them tomorrow night, and then have the President of South Korea address a joint session of Congress. South Korea is one of our most important allies--probably the most important ally in Asia. Why would we not just want to vote on the proposal tonight? I am sorry we will not be able to do that.

I will continue to look for opportunities to give the President the vote he has asked for repeatedly--not a procedural vote but a real vote on the matter he requested.

I object.

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