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Public Statements

The Jobs Bill

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, before my friend, the majority leader, leaves the floor, let me remind him and our Senate colleagues and the American people that Republicans were prepared to vote on the President's second version of the stimulus bill last night. In fact, I offered a unanimous consent that we have that vote--not the motion to proceed to it but the actual vote. I am not going to renew that request at the moment but just would say to my friend, we are happy to have that vote. We were happy to have it last night.

With regard to the pieces of it, my friend is correct; some of the pieces of this second stimulus might well be appropriate. I have recommended to the joint select committee--that he and I appointed 50 percent of--that they take a look at some of the pieces of it which could well be included in a product we are going to get before Thanksgiving before the Senate and the House.

So, again, we would be happy to vote on the entire package. We were happy to do it last night and also happy to look at pieces of it. We do have, as the majority leader and I have discussed before, important work to do in the Senate. We have the trade agreements we are going to approve tonight. We have three appropriations bills we are going to go to after that--the basic work of government, which we have not done in the last few years, the American people would like to see us do. We also have a joint select committee set up that could look at parts of the proposal to which the majority leader is referring. So I have some optimism that we will be able to come together on pieces of it that we think make sense.

I will say that as far as I know, there is not a single Republican who thinks it is a good idea to raise taxes on over 300,000 business owners, which is what would happen under the so-called millionaires' surtax. So there are parts of it we very much disagree with. We have divided government. Neither party controls the entire government. We will only be able to pass those things we do agree on. I think there are parts of the package my friend refers to that could well be agreed to at some point this year on a bipartisan basis.

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