Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, there is still time to prevent further damage to the economy and to stop the automatic tax hike on every American that's scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of the New Year. The President has a real opportunity, the second in 2 years, to do something significant about our debt crisis and jumpstart our economy. He has a real opportunity to show he can govern. He is letting that opportunity slip away.
Senate Democrats and the White House now say that a ``balanced approach'' is one that can pass both the House and Senate. But we know that neither the Democrat bill in the Senate, nor the President's plan for more than a trillion dollars in tax hikes meets their own new test of `balance.'
Speaker Boehner, like me, would like to prevent a tax hike on everyone. But given the President's failure to act, the House will soon vote on legislation to prevent a tax hike on anyone making less than a million dollars a year--rather than letting taxes go up on every American taxpayer; in other words, a plan that 53 of our Democrat colleagues here in the Senate already voted to support. It is a plan that would ensure far more American families and small businesses are protected from tax hikes than anything our Democrat friends have proposed.
Democrats will have an opportunity to offer and vote on changes if they no longer agree with their previous positions. But what they cannot do is sit on their hands and let taxes go up on every American taxpayer. Senate Democrats have wasted precious time all year with show votes designed to fail. That has left us with little time to do the real work that needs to be done. But there is still enough time for us to finish all of our work before this weekend, if we are all willing to stay late and work hard. For the sake of the people who sent us here, it can and should be done.