Unemployment Compensationby Senator Mitch McConnell
Posted on 2014-01-08
McCONNELL. Yesterday the majority leader rejected my offer for
both sides to offer amendments to the unemployment insurance bill--the
way things used to work around here; we had a bill called up, and we
had amendments. This is, sadly, typical of the way things are these
days in this institution. If the majority leader just accepted my
offer, we could actually be debating and amending this bill instead of
wasting time. How does the majority leader expect to achieve consensus
when one side doesn't have the chance to offer any input at all? That
is the way the Senate used to operate.
Look. If the majority leader wants this bill to pass the Senate, then there is a very good likelihood he is going to have to find a way to pay for it. I will be offering one idea on that front; that is, paying for a longer extension by dropping the mandate that forces Americans to buy insurance they don't want. But if they don't like that idea, there are others. One is a bipartisan idea endorsed by the President that ensures individuals can't draw both Social Security disability benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time. Senators Coburn and Portman both have versions of that. There is another plan offered by Senator Ayotte that would cut down on fraud in refundable tax credits. There are plans for job creation that will be offered by Senators Paul, Thune, and Inhofe.
These plans take a different approach than the government-led one we see from our Democratic friends. They rely on unlocking the potential of the private sector to actually increase employment. Why don't we have a vote on them in the Senate? I am sure there are many Democratic ideas out there as well, but we won't get the chance to debate any of them as long as the majority leader keeps blocking us from offering amendments.
This obstructionism by the Democratic majority is against the traditions of this body, and it needs to end because if Democrats truly want to get anything done this year, they are going to have to learn how to work with us.
I yield the floor.