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Public Statements

Challenges Remain

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, over the past several months, President Obama has kept a pretty busy schedule of campaign events. But as the President heads out for more campaign-style events this week, let's not forget that what he is actually doing here in Washington is far more important than what he is saying out on the campaign trail because when the speeches are over and all the chairs and posters are put away, great challenges remain.

Millions of Americans are still looking for work. The Federal debt continues to cast a shadow over the American dream. Despite assurances made last year, there is no budget in sight from the Democratic-controlled Senate. As the Associated Press reported today, about half of college graduates can't even find a decent job in this country. I understand why the President wouldn't want to talk about these things, but that doesn't change the fact that he should, and it doesn't change the fact that his policies are the problem.

The American people elected this President to change direction, not to change the subject. They elected the President to change direction, not change the subject. Yet, day after day, week after week, as our Nation's challenges deepen and another economic crisis draws nearer, this President wants to change the topic. He wants people to either focus on something else or to overlook the things he is actually doing to make the situation worse.

Let's take, for example, gas prices. Gas prices have more than doubled under this President. Yet, rather than doing something about it, he blames it on speculators and energy companies. Instead of increasing domestic production, he is focused on a plan to tax American energy manufacturers--a plan that would increase the cost of energy rather than lower the cost of gas.

The national debt has skyrocketed more than $5 trillion under this President. Yet, rather than actually doing something about it, he pretends that we should erase it, that we could somehow erase it by just whacking millionaires.

Look, millions are looking for work. Yet, rather than doing something about it, he passes a health care bill that would impose massive new costs, he continues to threaten new taxes, and he empowers Federal bureaucrats to cook up new rules and regulations that make it even harder for businesses to grow and to hire. Unless Congress acts, one such rule goes into effect next week. Most people haven't heard about it because the President hasn't been talking about it. But I am happy to because it says all you need to know about this President's approach to jobs and the economy.

As a favor to big labor, the President is right now rushing a plan that would restrict an employer's ability to educate workers about unionization efforts, as well as increase their legal bills and the already high cost of complying with Federal regulations. And get this: The administration hasn't even provided an analysis of the cost involved in moving forward with this proposal.

Tomorrow, Senators, led by Senator Enzi, will have an opportunity to vote on this effort to make it even harder to do business in this country. We will have a chance to stand up against what the President is doing to the economy, and in the process we will be reminding people to focus on what the President does rather than what he says.

Look, at a time when America's corporate income tax is now the highest in the world, we should be looking for ways to make it easier for businesses to hire, not harder. At a time when unemployment is above 13 percent for young people between the ages of 20 and 24 in this country, we should be finding ways to make it more likely they can find work, not less likely. But this is the Obama economy. This is the President's approach. This is the painful legacy of his failed economic policies. The President may not want to discuss it, but Republicans will.

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