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Public Statements

Senate Leadership

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. ALEXANDER. Mr. President, some say the reason for a do-nothing Senate--or the cure for it--is that we need to change the rules. I say we need a change in behavior, and I wish to offer a single example.

We have a big spending and borrowing problem: 42 cents out of every dollar we are borrowing. We are headed off a fiscal cliff. The minority leader has described that.

The Australian Foreign Minister has said the United States of America is
one budget deal away from restoring its global preeminence, so one would think we would have a budget. Then one would think we would deal with the appropriations bills which are the basic work of the Senate.

I and others on both sides of the aisle came to the floor earlier this year to compliment the majority and minority leaders for their decision to bring all 12 appropriations bills to the floor. The committee did its work; 11 of the 12 have been reported to the floor. The House did its work; 11 of the 12 were reported to the floor, and 6 were passed. But the majority leader said we are not going to consider any appropriations bills--no appropriations bills.

Being elected to the Senate and not being allowed to vote on appropriations bills is like being invited to join the Grand Ole Opry and not being allowed to sing. We need a Republican majority. If we have one we can have a budget, and if we have one we will bring appropriations bills to the floor. We will debate them, we will amend them, we will vote on them, and we will do our jobs.

Thank you, Mr. President.


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