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Public Statements

Job Creation

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Over the past few weeks, I have repeatedly come to the floor to highlight the good work Republicans in the House have been doing in identifying jobs legislation on which the two parties can actually agree. At last count, House Republicans had passed 22 jobs bills which were designed not only to incentivize the private sector to create jobs but which were also designed to attract strong bipartisan support. In other words, House Republicans have been designing jobs legislation that could actually pass. They have been legislating with an eye toward making a difference instead of just making a point.

I have been encouraging the Democratic majority here in the Senate to follow the House's lead, take up these bipartisan jobs bills, pass them here in the Senate, and send them to the President for signature. That way we would actually be helping to create jobs, and we would send a message to the American people that we can actually do something many of them think we don't do enough of around here; that is, work together.

This morning, I would like to call on my Democratic colleagues once again to take me up on the offer. Once we get back from Thanksgiving, let's take up these bipartisan bills that have already passed the House, pass them here in the Senate, and send them down to the President for signature. We showed we can do it last week when we worked together to pass Senator Brown's 3 percent withholding bill and Senator Murray's Veterans bill. In fact, yesterday the House passed this legislation 422 to 0, sending it to the White House for the President's signature. So I would like to call on the President this morning to invite Senator Brown down to the White House for the signing ceremony, which would show the American people that cooperation is, indeed, possible when the Senate focuses on bipartisan job-creation solutions.

Let's continue to build off that momentum and do more. Many of the bipartisan House-passed bills already have companion or similar legislation here in the Senate. There is no reason we can't start to take them up as soon as we get back. There is a lot we could do.

Yesterday, I highlighted a bill by Senator Collins, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. It has strong support from both Republicans and Democrats right here in the Senate, including 12 Democratic cosponsors. Let's pass it. The House-passed version of this bill passed overwhelmingly. It got more than 40 Democratic votes. It is supported by more than 300 business groups, including the American Forest and Paper Association, the National Association of Manufacturing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Business Roundtable. According to one estimate, this bill could save more than 200,000 jobs and provide greater certainty for businesses that are asking us for it. The EPA has asked for more time. Both parties support it. Let's pass it.

Once we pass that bill, we should take up the four other bipartisan House-passed bills I highlighted last week. These four bills would help businesses raise capital, expand their businesses, and create more jobs. They all passed with bipartisan support over in the House. We have bipartisan companion or similar legislation right here in the Senate. What is the holdup? Let's pass these bills too.

There is the Small Company Capital Formation Act, cosponsored by Senators Tester and Toomey. Its companion legislation got 183 Democratic votes in the House. Let's pass it.

There is the Community Bank Resource Improvement Act, cosponsored by Senators Hutchison and Pryor. Its companion legislation in the House got 184 Democrats. Let's take it up and pass it.

There is the Private Company Flexibility and Growth Act, cosponsored by Senators Toomey and Carper. Let's pass it.

There is the Democratizing Access to Capital Act, sponsored by Senator Scott Brown. A similar bill in the House passed with 407 votes, including 169 from Democrats. Let's pass it.

There is the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act, cosponsored by Senator Thune. It passed the House with 413 votes, including 175 Democrats. Let's pass it.

And we shouldn't stop there. As I see it, there is no reason we shouldn't take up every one of these bipartisan bills that have already passed the House once we get back and pass them, one by one. They all passed the House on a bipartisan basis. They all help the private sector create jobs. There is no good reason we shouldn't take up all these bills and pass them right here in the Senate because if we can't pass jobs legislation on which we all agree, then what are we going to pass? This should be a layup.

The Republican House has done its job. It is time for the Senate to act. Let's do what the American people expect us to do. Let's take up these jobs bills when we return, pass them, and send them down to the President for signature. Let's do the work we were sent here to do.

Mr. President, I yield the floor.


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