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Public Statements

Extending Current Tax Rates

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, we have a lot to do and not much time to do it in before the end of the session. The American people spoke loudly and clearly on election day. They want us to put aside the liberal wish list and focus on jobs. The most important thing we can do to create jobs between now and January 1 is to send a message to job creators that we are not going to raise their taxes. That is why I offered a bill back in September--S. 3773--that would make current tax rates permanent. This is the only bill that has yet been offered that would prevent a tax hike on anyone. In other words, nobody in America would get a tax hike at the end of this year.

The White House didn't seem to like that idea. They said we should raise taxes on small businesses. But this should be an easy one. We should be promoting private job creation, not killing private job creation. So I look forward to hearing any ideas the White House has to achieve that.

One thing we will need to do before we leave this year is to fund the government because Democrats didn't pass a single appropriations bill this year. So now we will have to mop up in the eleventh hour with an omnibus spending bill that covers all of it. This is one more sign they aren't learning many lessons from the election.

If this election showed us anything, it is that Americans don't want Congress passing massive trillion-dollar bills that have been thrown together behind closed doors. They want us to do business differently. So I will not be supporting an omnibus spending bill. We have seen what happens when Democrats rush legislation and try to jam it through at the last minute, with no time for review or for the American people to learn what is actually in the bill. The ``Cornhusker kickback'' and the ``Louisiana purchase'' are fresh on their minds.

Americans want us to take our time and get things right, and they want us to spend less. The voters have spoken. We need to show that we heard them.


Madam President, yesterday's acquittal in a Federal court of accused terrorist Ahmed Ghailani on all but 1 of 285 charges of conspiracy and murder is all the proof we need that the administration's approach to prosecuting terrorists has been deeply misguided and, indeed, potentially harmful as a matter of national security.

You will recall that Attorney General Holder assured the American people last year that Ghailani would not be acquitted of the charges against him. Holder said back then:

With his appearance in Federal Court today, Ahmed Ghailani is being held accountable for his alleged role in the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the murder of 224 people.

Holder also said back then that Ghailani's prosecution in civilian court would prove its effectiveness in trying terrorists who were picked up on the battlefield.

At the time, most Americans wondered why we would even take the chance. Now they are wondering when the administration will admit it was wrong and assure us, just as confidently, that terrorists will be tried from now on--from now on--in the military commission system that was established for this very purpose at the secure facility at Guantanamo Bay or detained indefinitely if they cannot be tried without jeopardizing national security.

When it comes to terrorism, we should err on the side of protecting the American people.

Madam President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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