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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I certainly share my friend the majority leader's views about Senator Lugar's record, but he has 8 more months to be among us and to serve this country. I think an appropriate time to celebrate his outstanding career would be when it comes to an end here in the Senate.
TIME FOR ACTION
With regard to what has been going on here in the Senate, the problem clearly is the majority, which seems not to be interested in accomplishing anything but, rather, turning the Senate floor into an opportunity for show votes for the President and his campaign.
Earlier this week the President repackaged a list of old ideas into a Post-it note checklist for Congress. He said he did not want to ``overload'' Congress. Unfortunately, besides the weekly political show votes to which I just referred to coincide with the President's campaign schedule, the work that needs to be done isn't--no budget, nothing to prevent the largest tax hike in history, and House-passed bills sitting in the hopper.
While the President is trying to manufacture arguments he can run on, House Republicans have spent the last year and a half voting on and passing energy and jobs bills. In fact, more than two dozen jobs proposals are currently collecting dust on the majority leader's desk. One after another, the House has passed a budget, a small business tax bill, bills to expand domestic energy production, and bills to reduce burdensome, job-killing regulations. Despite some
saying nothing can get done in an election year, they are not done yet over in the House. I commend my House colleagues for their leadership, energy, and good work.
I have a suggestion. Instead of focusing on his political Post-it note checklist, the President and Senate Democrats should show some leadership and work with Republicans to move on critical progrowth bills. These proposals will help provide certainty and provide a much needed boost to our economy. They would allow businesses to plan for the future and to begin to hire again.
Common ground can be achieved on these jobs bills, and Republicans stand ready to work with Democrats to get them passed. With nearly 13 million Americans unemployed and millions more underemployed or giving up looking for work altogether, inaction and political gimmicks and games are really just not acceptable. Action is required by this President and this Congress now, not after the election or by some future Congress or administration. The country's problems are far too pressing. The American people expect us to work together for the good of our country.
This year the Senate should pass a budget. Three years without a budget is completely unacceptable. Congress should also move on comprehensive tax reform, a true all-of-the-above energy policy, and the elimination of burdensome regulations that are hurting businesses and hindering job creation. And we can't stop there. Congress must act swiftly to put forth a plan to deal with the largest tax increase in U.S. history that is only--only--8 months away.
These are issues that can't be dealt with overnight. We need to start now. And anyone who says there is no time to get these things done either hasn't been watching the Senate floor lately or does not believe this country is headed toward a fiscal cliff. Where is the Democratic-led Senate and the President? Where are they? What are they waiting for? What is the reason for the delay? The President giving another speech loaded with the same old ideas that have failed before is not going to cut it anymore. The President's Post-it note checklist is insufficient to handle the challenges we face as a nation, and, frankly, it is completely counterproductive.
Yesterday the majority leader said Democrats are willing to make the tough choices. Well, we are waiting. We are waiting. And with all due respect, we have a tough time believing our friends across the aisle when the only issues they care about these days are show votes coordinated with the White House for political gain. So today let's stop the show votes that are designed to fail. Let's stop the blame games. Let's come together and do what the American people expect us to do. As I said yesterday, our offer still stands. We are ready when you are.
Mr. President, I yield the floor.
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