Floor Speech

By:  Mitch McConnell
Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, for the past several months, I and others have been calling on the Democratic majority here in the Senate to take up and pass the various bipartisan jobs bills that House Republicans have been sending across the dome. These bills on their own certainly will not solve the jobs crisis, but they will make it a lot easier for entrepreneurs and innovators to get the capital they need to build businesses and create jobs. And because these bills are more concerned with getting Washington out of the way than getting it more involved, these bills also send an important message that the economy and the country are a lot better off when folks have more control over their economic destinies, not less.

Last night, we were on the cusp of passing a collection of bills known as the JOBS Act. This bill had overwhelming bipartisan support in the House. Nearly 400 Members voted for it. And the President himself says it will create jobs, he supports it and would sign it into law.

Unfortunately, a handful of Democrats here in the Senate wants to slow it down. They denied Americans this bipartisan victory for jobs that we could have had last night.

So this morning I would ask our friends on the other side to reconsider. I would ask them to put the politics aside and allow this bipartisan bill to actually move forward. We could pocket this achievement and move on to other measures, including the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, which I suggested yesterday. One bill alone cannot undo the damage inflicted on the economy by this administration, but it sure could help, and we need to show the American people we can do this.

This bill is exactly the kind of thing Americans have been asking for: greater freedom and greater flexibility. That is one of the reasons it has had such overwhelming bipartisan support. At a moment when millions are looking for work and Democrats say they want more bipartisan action on jobs, this is it.

We are in the middle of March Madness here. To use a basketball metaphor: This is a layup. Let's get it done.

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