Senate Accomplishmentsby Senator Mitch McConnell
Posted on 2015-12-18
McCONNELL. Madam President, before I leave the floor, I would
like to say something about last year. The American people voted for a
new majority last November. We were humbled to have their support and
take the Senate in a new direction. The Senate has made great strides
in the year since. I think we have shown how the Senate can not only
get back to work, but also return to a place of higher purpose.
We have committees working again. We opened up the legislative process. We gave Senators from both parties more of a say. As a result, we have gotten a lot done for the American people.
There are numbers that help tell the story, such as the fact that this Senate allowed 200 rollcall votes compared to just 15 last year. But it is the substance of what we passed that truly shows what a new and more open Senate can achieve for the American people: replacing No Child Left Behind with the most significant K-12 education reform in more than a dozen years; addressing crumbling roads and bridges with the first long-term Transportation bill in a decade; a balanced budget for the first time since 2001; help for our veterans; hope for the victims of modern slavery; modernizing changes for our military and its acquisition systems; and notable, bipartisan reforms for programs like Medicare--reforms that set a precedent for further positive action in the future.
We brought a permanent end to more of Washington's artificial cliffs and manufactured dramas by working toward real reform instead of just temporary patches, and we will do that again today. We will enact permanent tax relief for families and small businesses. We will bring an end to a job-destroying, 40-year ban on energy exports. We will finally pass landmark cyber security legislation after years of Senate inaction. And just last night, we passed the first significant environmental reform bill in decades, one that will create more certainty for businesses and ensure uniform safety standards for products our families use.
This is all very good news for the American people. Nearly all the policies I mentioned were, or will be, signed into law by the President.
Others, while important, do not have his support. That includes legislation to rescue the middle class from the pain of ObamaCare, to support Keystone's energy jobs, and to protect Kentucky's small businesses and coal families from Washington's regulatory assault.
It is now clear that it will take a new President--a new President-- to achieve those things for the American people. But we are proving that you can still get a lot done with a President from a different party. We are proving you can actually enact significant, long-term reforms, achieve conservative policy goals, and get them signed into law.
I am proud of what the new Senate has accomplished. I wish to thank the many friends across the aisle who joined us in passing so many bipartisan reforms for the American people. We are not only putting the Senate back to work; we are putting it back on the side of the American people.