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Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, it took 4 years to get a budget from the Senate majority--4 long years.

As the days go by, it has become increasingly clear why it took so long; their budget is so extreme and so unbalanced. That is why they are having such a hard time selling it to the American people and why they have had to fall back on some tired talking points to defend it, claiming their budget would, for instance, grow the economy from the middle class out. That is a clever sound bite, but it doesn't describe the Senate Democratic budget at all.

Maybe a better way to put it is that the Democratic budget would grow the bureaucracy from the pockets of the middle class out. That is because it would increase Federal spending by almost two-thirds by imposing a massive tax hike that could cost the average middle-class family literally thousands.

The Democrats like to say the up to $1.5 trillion tax increase authorized in their budget--the largest tax hike in American history, by the way--would be funded by closing loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, but the math simply doesn't add up. They will have to come after the middle class to fund this spending spree.

There is something else. The Senate Democratic budget wouldn't balance ever--not in 2013, not in 2023, not in 2023, not ever. It wouldn't balance in any of our lifetimes. It wouldn't balance in the lifetimes of our children or our grandchildren. It would simply never balance.

Think about it. That means a child born today would grow up knowing nothing but massive deficits their entire life. That means trillions upon trillions in more debt and an economy that would never ever reach its full potential. That is simply not right, but it is what we would get with the Senate Democratic plan. It is an extreme approach that is more than just fiscally reckless; it is deeply irresponsible.

That is why so many middle-class families agree with Republicans that we should be growing the economy, not the government. They know we need to control Washington spending and balance the budget in order to kick-start economic growth and to create American jobs. They are so tired of the Obama economy.

They are tired of the endless pivots to jobs that never result in the kind of sustained job creation we need. They are tired of the sluggish growth, of always looking to the future with anxiety or worrying whether Medicare will even be there when they retire.

They are tired of the ideological DC Democratic extremism that got us here: knee-jerk, tax-first solutions to almost every single problem, massive overspending, steadfast opposition to reforms that would make government programs more efficient, effective, and sustainable.

So my friends across the aisle shouldn't be surprised their budget is getting such a rough ride. It contains up to $1.5 trillion in new taxes. This would be the largest tax hike in American history. It contains $ 1/2 trillion more in spending, money that could be siphoned out of the economy and into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.

It lacks meaningful reforms to save and strengthen Medicare, allowing it to go bankrupt in just a few years, and it enshrines massive deficits into law, ensuring they continue forever and ever without end.

The Senate Democratic budget is nothing more than a rehash of the same tired politics that continue to pummel the middle class. It is time to move beyond this failed extremist approach and try a new one. Instead of expanding the power of the bureaucratic elite at the expense of hardworking taxpayers, I would urge Washington to change course. Let's focus on growing the economy, not the government.


I would also like to discuss ObamaCare for a moment.

As I just stated, Senate Republicans want policies to grow the economy, not the government. Yet ObamaCare is a law that grows the government and will slow our economy. On Saturday, we will mark the third anniversary of its passage into law.

Republicans have long warned that ObamaCare would have a devastating impact on our country. I have spoken about 100 times on the Senate floor against ObamaCare and I have warned about its consequences: increased premiums, lost jobs, and higher taxes.

Unfortunately, many of those things have already started happening. It is not just off in the future. It has already happened, and the Federal Government has only just begun implementing the law.

Instead of premiums going down $2,500, as President Obama promised, they have actually gone up by about the same amount, $2,500. Congress's own nonpartisan budget experts tell us the premiums will increase by about $2,100 after more rules, more taxes, and more mandates take effect.

The Federal Reserve also came out with a report that confirmed something else Americans already know: ObamaCare is costing us jobs. By some estimates, it could end up costing 800,000 jobs at a time when we desperately need more of them.

Members of the President's own party have begun sounding the alarm about the law's tax hike, including its tax on medical devices.

His union allies are concerned the law will make them less competitive too. Of course it will. Perhaps some of the union bosses should have more thoroughly considered the well-being of their members before supporting ObamaCare's passage in the first place.

ObamaCare has already become a regulatory nightmare. I would call the attention of my colleagues to this chart. This is the ObamaCare law, hundreds of pages in itself. But these are the regulations so far: 7 feet tall, almost 20,000 pages of ObamaCare regulations so far.

The law itself is not small, hundreds and hundreds of pages. But nearly 20,000 new pages of regulations, 7 feet tall, and they are just getting started. This monster of a bill, as I indicated, was hundreds of pages long itself, but that is actually nothing compared to the regulations it has spawned.

This more than 7-foot stack of paper next to me is what has become known as the redtape tower--the redtape tower, almost 20,000 pages of ObamaCare regulations so far. It is nearly 20,000 pages' worth of complexity. That is just what the bureaucracy has dreamed of so far, and we can only imagine how much more is yet to come.

Do we expect small businesses to be able to cope with all the rules in this tower? If you were a small business owner, how could you? Would you even be able to read through all of them and figure out which ones applied to you? I doubt it. I don't expect the average American to have much luck either.

The administration released a draft ObamaCare application last week. It is 21 pages long. Unbelievable. If you like doing your taxes, you are going to love applying for the ObamaCare exchanges.

So Washington Democrats may pop the champagne this Saturday to celebrate the law's third anniversary, but more Americans and small business owners will be reaching for an aspirin once they are forced to start navigating this bureaucratic nightmare.

In my view, ObamaCare is a colossal mistake for our country. There is no way to fix this thing. It needs to be pulled out by its roots, and we need to start all over. This bill needs to be repealed and it needs to be replaced, not with another unreadable law or another 20,000 pages of regulations but with commonsense reforms that actually lower health care costs.

Anyone who thinks we have given up this fight is dead wrong.

I yield the floor.


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