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Unanimous Consent Request - H.R. 4853

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, let me just say briefly, once again, the majority wants to make this debate about Republicans opposing something. Let me make it clear that we have offered ways of paying for these programs, and we have been eager to approve them. But we cannot support job-killing taxes and adding tens of billions to the already unsustainable national debt. So the only reason the unemployment extension has not passed is because our friends on the other side simply refuse to pass a bill that does not add to the debt. That is it. That is the only difference between what they have offered and what we have offered.

In a moment, I will offer a 2-month extension of the expired unemployment insurance benefits. This extension would be fully paid using the very same stimulus funds 57 Democrats, including my friend the majority leader, voted to redirect for these same purposes. Let me repeat that. We would pay for this extension with a Democrat-approved stimulus offset. This extension we will offer would cover the month of June, when benefits have lapsed, and it would cover next month, so we will have time to further debate these proposals.

If the Democrats object to extending these programs using their own stimulus offset to pay for them, then they will be saying loudly and clearly that their commitment to deficit spending trumps their desire to help the unemployed. So let's be clear about the principle that is really at stake here: Are Democrats willing to extend these programs without--without--adding to the debt? That is the real question in this debate.

Therefore, Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of H.R. 4853; that all after the enacting clause be stricken and the McConnell amendment at the desk be agreed to; that the bill, as amended, be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table.


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