U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell issued the following statement Thursday regarding an agreement on Keystone XL Pipeline jobs, extending unemployment insurance, the temporary payroll tax holiday and seniors' access to medical care:
"With today's agreement between the Speaker and Leader Reid, working Americans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their taxes will not go up at the end of the year and that the President will have to finally decide on whether to move forward on a pipeline project that would create thousands of American jobs. From the beginning of this debate, bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have supported a one-year extension of last-year's temporary payroll tax holiday. The only question was how to do it in a way that best serves the American people. The President's statements castigating House Republicans have thus amounted to the kind of unhelpful political opportunism Americans are tired of. The President seems to forget that the only reason we are even discussing an extension of temporary measures like the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance is his own failure to turn our nation's economy around nearly three years into his administration. While I am pleased that Senate Democrats and House Republicans have agreed to a solution that recognizes--and resolves--the legitimate concerns on both sides, I think it is crucial for everyone to realize that the larger goal is to move beyond a discussion of temporary assistance once and for all and toward a bipartisan plan to get our economy moving again, reform the tax code, and preserve and protect entitlements."