GOP Leader McConnell: On Budget, Dems Continue to Duck and Cover
It’s been three years since the Democrat-led Senate felt it needed to put a budget together, so the American people can see what their priorities are, and what they plan to do to fix this mess. Three years in which they’ve completely abdicated their responsibility as a majority party to show the American people what they stand for, to put their vision in black and white for all the world to see. The fact is, they don’t have one.’
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the need for Senate Democrats to produce and pass a budget:
“You know, before I was Senate Republican Leader, I was probably best known as a lonely warrior against campaign finance reform, on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment Right to free speech. But before that, I was probably best known, at least in some quarters, for an ad that I ran in my first Senate campaign. It featured a pack of blood hounds running around looking for my opponent, who missed so many votes giving paid speeches around the country we thought we should call him out on it. Well, I can’t help but think back on that ad when it comes to Senate Democrats and the federal budget.
“Where in the world is it?
“We’ve got a nearly $16 trillion debt; we’re borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar we spend; entitlements are going broke; millions are out of work, and Democrats can’t even put a plan on paper for a vote?
“What are they doing over there?
“Isn’t anybody over there embarrassed by the fact that they haven’t offered a budget in three years?
“Three years. It’s been three years since the Democrat-led Senate felt it needed to put a budget together, so the American people can see what their priorities are, and what they plan to do to fix this mess. Three years in which they’ve completely abdicated their responsibility as a majority party to show the American people what they stand for, to put their vision in black and white for all the world to see.
“The fact is, they don’t have one.
“As far as I can tell, their only plan is to take shots at our plans and hope nobody notices they not only don’t have one of their own.
“They’re so unserious they won’t even vote for a budget that was written by a President of their own party. It doesn’t get more irresponsible than that.
“I think the Treasury Secretary summed it up pretty well when he was asked a few months ago what the administration planned to do to address entitlements — the single-biggest driver of the national debt. ‘We’re not coming before you today to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem,’ he said. ‘What we do know is, we don’t like yours.’
“What breathtaking disregard for the problems we face.
“So if you’re looking for a simple, three-word description of the Democrat approach to the problems we face, it’s this: duck and cover. They don’t have a budget of their own. They’re going to vote against their own President’s budget later today. And they’re going to vote against every budget Republicans put up.
“Now, the Majority Leader has tried to get around all this by suggesting that the Budget Control Act we negotiated last fall should count as a budget, since it sets the top line amount we’re going to spend. But he knows as well as I do that’s not a budget.
“A budget is a list of priorities. It reflects your values as a party. It shows the tough choices you’re willing to make. It’s not just dollar figures. It’s a vision. And it’s the responsibility of any majority party to put one together, to stand up and be counted.
“But since Democrats refuse to do their duty by the nation, Republicans will attempt to do it for them.
“Later today, we’ll vote on five different budget proposals: the President’s, Congressman Paul Ryan’s, Senator Pat Toomey’s, Senator Paul’s, and Senator Mike Lee’s. We’ll give Democrats a choice, and see if they’ll have the courage to get behind any of these proposals, or none of them. And we’ll learn a lot.
“By the end of the day, we’ll know whether there’s a budget that Washington Democrats support.
“And the American people will know without a doubt who’s voting for solutions in this town — and who isn’t.
“They’ll know who’s got a plan for fix the mess we’re in — and who doesn’t.
“They’ll know who’d rather spend their time criticizing others than doing the hard work of setting priorities and making choices.
“Senate Democrats don’t want to explain how they’ll fix the fiscal mess we’re in.
“They don’t want to say how they’ll preserve and strengthen entitlements.
“They just want to complain about others.
“They’re putting their desire for campaign material ahead of their responsibility to govern.
“The tragedy is, every year they do so, the problems we face only get worse. They debt gets bigger. Entitlements get closer to insolvency. And the American people have to go another year wondering when things will ever change.
“Well, some people up here think it’s time to do something now.
“You’ll know them by their votes.”