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Lamar A.
Republican TN

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  • Fiscal Responsibility

    by Senator Lamar Alexander

    Posted on 2013-01-23

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    ALEXANDER. Madam President, I wonder if I might pose a question to the Republican leader, if he would retake the floor.

    Mr. McCONNELL. I would be happy to respond.

    Mr. ALEXANDER. I want to congratulate the Republican leader for his remarks.

    Here is my question. We have arrived at a time when we have a newly elected President who has had a fine inaugural day. He has an agenda that he wants to follow which he announced in his inaugural address. It is not an agenda that most of us on this side agree with, but he has an agenda that he wants to follow in his second term, all of which would ensure--in his eyes--his legacy as a President.

    But isn't there one thing that in order to get to that agenda--or any other thing--he and we have to do, and that is to address the debt? Isn't the very best time--isn't the very best time to do something difficult, something nobody wants to talk about, something that is hard--the best time to do that is at a time when we have a divided government, a Democratic President, a Republican House, and 30 or 40 or 50 of us Senators on both sides of the aisle who have been saying for 2 years that we are ready to fix the debt? Isn't this an opportunity now? Not just because it is a divided government, but because the House of Representatives today may very well create a 2-month or 3-month window during which we can address all of these issues if we had Presidential leadership? Mr. McCONNELL. I say to my friend from Tennessee, it is counterintuitive. But one could argue that a divided government--which we have had more often than not since World War II--has produced four of the most significant accomplishments for our country in modern times.

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