Need for New Leadership

Floor Speech

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: Sept. 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, we all understand there is an election going on around here in a few months, but I would like to remind my colleagues on the other side that we also have a job to do right now. We have multiple crisis-level issues to deal with. Yet our Democratic friends don't seem to want to do a thing. Never before--never before--has a President and a Senate done so little to confront challenges so great.

We have a $16 trillion debt. Democrats haven't bothered to pass a budget in 3 years. Every single American will get hit with a massive tax hike in just 3 months if we don't act to prevent it.

Democrats are saying we shouldn't do anything about it; just go off the cliff. Go off the cliff, and let's see what happens. The defense budget is about to suffer automatic cuts that the President's own Defense Secretary--the Defense Secretary in this administration--has described as devastating. But Democrats can't be bothered to figure out a way to avoid them.

The Middle East is in turmoil. We remain at war in Afghanistan and with al-Qaida, and Senate Democrats have not even bothered to pass the Defense authorization bill.

Gas prices have more than doubled over the past 4 years--doubled in just 4 years. Democrats responded by conspiring with the President to make sure a domestic pipeline didn't get built. They just let the debt grow, let taxes go up, let the defense cuts stand, and let gas prices get higher and higher. They don't pass a budget, don't pass any spending bills, don't do anything that involves making tough choices; just sit around and kill time in the hopes that the voters will focus on the other guys instead.

Look, our constituents didn't send us here to watch the clock or to offer running commentary on the Senate floor. They sent us here to make a difference. We have jobs to do. It is about time we did them. In these very challenging times, Americans deserve leadership. Never before--never before--has a President and a Senate majority party done so little when our challenges were so great. There is no excuse for it.