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Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I thank my friend, the majority leader, and Speaker Boehner for their outstanding work during this difficult negotiation. We had an opportunity tonight to decide whether we wanted to repeat history or make history. Had we chosen to repeat history, we would have allowed a government shutdown. Instead, we decided to make history by implementing in the middle of this fiscal year, as the majority leader indicated, substantial reductions in spending. These reductions are in the billions.

Once we get through this process, by the end of next week we will move on to a much larger discussion about how we save trillions by enacting, hopefully, on a bipartisan basis, a budget that genuinely begins to get on top of this problem. The problem, as we all know, is $14 trillion in debt and over $53 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

The President has asked us to raise the debt ceiling, and Senate Republicans and House Republicans--and I hope many Democrats as well--are going to say: Mr. President, in order to raise the debt ceiling, we need to do something significant about the debt. My definition of significant is that the markets view it as significant, the American people view it as significant, and foreign countries view it as significant.

So for tonight, again, I congratulate the majority leader and the Speaker. This is an important first step but just the beginning of what we need to do to get our fiscal house in order.


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