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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I would like to start this morning by remembering another deadly shooting, one that hit very close to home for most of us.
It was 14 years ago today that Officer Jacob Chestnut and Detective John Gibson of the Capitol Police were shot dead in the line of duty right here in the Capitol by a lone gunman. Their deaths serve as yet another reminder not only of the reality of evil but of the precious gift of life. Today we honor them for their lives and the final act of heroism that ended them.
A plaque inside the Capitol commemorates their sacrifice, and the Capitol Police Headquarters now bears their names. It is appropriate we also pause in the midst of our other duties to honor these men and every member
of the Capitol Police Force who works so hard to ensure our safety.
Officer Chestnut was a 20-year veteran of the Air Force and had 18 years of service to the Capitol Police. Detective Gibson also had 18 years of Capitol Police service, and until the day he died had never drawn his weapon. Both men left behind wives, children, and friends.
Today the Senate honors both of these good men once again and all of those they left behind.
Mr. President, as the Senate resumes its work this week, Americans are hungry for leadership. The national debt hovers around $16 trillion. The Federal Government is on track to spend $1 trillion more than it takes in for the fourth year in a row, and Democrats have not done so much as pass a budget in nearly 4 years.
Meanwhile, President Obama is not even talking with us about what to do about any of these things. The taxpayers are basically paying him $400,000 a year to hold campaign rallies and show up at fundraisers. His latest proposal on taxes has more to do with helping his campaign than in reviving the economy. If you want proof, just ask yourself why Democrats don't want to vote on it.
Republicans will head into tomorrow's vote guided by a simple principle: Do no harm. In our view, the best approach to taxes right now is to let every American and every American business know they will not have a higher income tax bill at the end of the year. We think everybody in America should have that certainty.
The Democrats' guiding principle, to the extent they have one, is quite different. To them the goal is not so much relief for struggling Americans or reviving the economy, it is sending a message. Their message is that some people deserve relief and some people don't, and they will decide who those people are regardless of the effect it has on the broader economy or on jobs. It is an approach that isn't based on any economic outcome but on ideology. Americans are quite tired of it because it has been a disaster for our economy.
Think about it. If Democrats cared more about helping folks and reviving the economy, then they wouldn't be calling for a tax hike. Yet throughout this entire debate Democrats have not offered a single credible argument about how their tax increase targeted at job creators will help struggling middle-class Americans. Surely, they don't think this tax increase is the fiscally responsible thing to do.
Let's assume they got this tax increase. It would only generate enough money to fund the government for 5 days. Even if they got the tax increase they want, it would only generate enough money to fund the government for 5 days.
The larger point is this: The Senate should be in the business of actually making a difference rather than just making political statements. That is why we think we should have a vote on all three proposals tomorrow: the President's proposal, the Senate Democrat proposal, and ours. Show the American people what is behind their proposals and what we all stand for. If the Democrats believe the President's rhetoric, they will vote for his proposal, and he will work to get their support.
My guess is that Democratic leaders will not allow a vote on the President's plan, and that should tell us everything we need to know about the Democratic approach to the problems we face. They are either out of ideas, not serious about solving the problems we face or both. To them this is more about messaging or passing the buck than it is about helping anybody or preventing an economic calamity at the end of this year.
The President proposed a plan he thinks will help him on the campaign trail. Democrats proposed a plan they think helps them in the Senate. What about a plan that actually helps the American people? It is all politics and positioning to our friends on the other side of the aisle at this point, and it is quite disgraceful.
The time to act on the problems we face is right now. The fiscal cliff draws closer with each passing day. I think most people think the party in power has some responsibility to do something about it.
I yield the floor.
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