U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the need for the President and Senate Democrats to finally take action to prevent a massive tax hike next month:
"I know most people are focused today on what happened last night over in the House.
"I'd like to focus on a press conference that Congressional Democrats held a few hours earlier.
"Here were the leaders of the Democratic Party in the Senate; other than the President, these are the folks with the greatest responsibility for protecting the American people from a massive tax hike in January. And what did they do: they stood in front of the cameras and laughed. They giggled at a bunch of bad jokes and told the American people they didn't plan to do anything this week. Nothing.
"Democrats in the House vowed they wouldn't vote for this bill, the Senate Majority Leader vowed he'd ignore it if it made out of the House and landed in the Senate, and the President vowed he'd veto it if it made it out of the Senate.
"So Democrats spent all day yesterday defeating a bill that would have made current tax rates permanent for more than 99 percent of Americans -- and they laughed about it. I don't know if anybody's looked at a calendar lately, but we're out of time here folks.
"This isn't funny. People's livelihoods are at stake here. The U.S. economy is at stake here. Millions upon millions of families are counting on us to do something.
"Look: It's the President's job to find a solution that can pass Congress. He's the only one who can do it.
"This isn't John Boehner's problem to solve. He's done his part. He's bent over backwards.
"How about rallying your party around a solution? How about getting Democrats to support something?
"I've said it many times before: We simply cannot solve the problems we face unless and until the President of the United States either finds the will or develops the ability to lead.
"This is a moment that calls for presidential leadership. That's the way out of this. It's that simple.
"Does anybody wonder why we keep going from crisis to crisis around here? Anybody notice a pattern?
"This didn't have to be a crisis. This was an opportunity. But once again, the President ignored it.
"He went out and held rallies and gave partisan speeches -- even after he'd already been re-elected. Well, as I said yesterday, I think it's obvious at this point the President wants to go off the cliff. But I know most of the American people don't want that.
"So today I'm going make an offer.
"With ten days to go, we have an obligation to act on something that can pass the House and the Senate. And if the President won't propose it, if Democrats won't propose it, I will.
"Earlier this year, the House passed a bill that extends current rates on everybody for one year, with instructions for expedited comprehensive tax reform by next year.
"We can bring this House-passed bill up.
"If Senator Reid has a plan that can get 60 votes in the Senate, break through the disarray in his own caucus and build bipartisan support, offer that as an amendment and then let's vote. Let's vote on amendments from all sides.
"And then let's go to conference with the House of Representatives. They've already passed a bill, one that I support, to prevent a tax hike on all Americans and reform the tax code. Let's take it up here and get this done.
"It's called legislating folks. It's what Congress used to do.
"Democrats may be popping champagne corks today about bringing down Plan B, but all their efforts to do so yesterday won't protect a single taxpayer from a massive tax hike next month.
"The American people are waiting. We've got to do better than this. We can do better than this.
"Let's do it."