WASHINGTON (6/26/14) — U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate Floor calling on ‘moderate’ Senate Democrats to work with Republicans to pass legislation designed to help the Middle Class:
“Yesterday, I talked about how supposedly ‘moderate’ Senate Democrats have proven incapable of advancing important policies they claim to support – policies like approving the Keystone Pipeline.
These Senate Democrats just can’t stop talking about how much they love Keystone.
And yet, they won’t stop enabling their own Democrat leadership to block approval of this shovel-ready, job-creation project. They’ve been doing it for years now.
So it’s hard to take what they say seriously.
That’s true when it comes to the Obama Administration’s War on Coal Jobs too.
Some of our friends on the other side want their constituents to think they’ll stand up against this elitist war on Middle Class jobs. These Senators want everyone to believe they’re opposed to the Administration’s waves of job-killing energy regulations.
But the truth is, it’s just the opposite.
These Democrat Senators say they’re ready to stand and fight. But when push comes to shove, they’re nowhere to be found.
Instead, we continually see them supporting a Majority Leader and a Democrat Senate Leadership that dutifully does the bidding of President Obama and the Far Left.
And on this issue, the Democrat Leadership has gotten ever-more-extreme in its defense of the War on Coal Jobs.
Multiple times, I’ve tried to offer legislation that would ease the pain for Kentucky’s coal families – hardworking Americans who just want to work and put food on the table. I’ve pushed for Senate approval of common-sense bills like the Saving Coal Jobs Act and the Coal Country Protection Act.
But the Majority Leader blocks those efforts at every turn.
And none of the so-called ‘moderate’ Senate Democrats ever comes to the floor to assist me in my efforts. Every time, they choose to follow the party line instead – the party line of the Majority Leader they support.
The most troubling thing is, the Majority Leader these Democrats support is so determined to stamp out opposition to the President’s job-killing regulations, he’s taken to shutting down the legislative process altogether. His efforts have even begun to affect our committee work.
Case in point, last week the Senate Democrat leadership pulled the Energy and Water Appropriations bill from committee consideration because it feared a pro-coal jobs amendment I wanted to offer might actually pass. We saw yet another example of that this week, when Democrats pulled the Financial Services Appropriations bill from committee consideration for almost the very same reason. The Senate Democrat leadership apparently doesn’t want members of the Senate, even in committee, to have any real say in the contours of the President’s energy regulations – regulations that will affect millions of our constituents in profound ways.
“Look: Appropriations bills are exactly the kinds of things the Senate should be voting on.
Our constituents sent us here to debate big issues, to amend and improve policies that work, and to repeal the ones that don’t. That’s our job description.
But the Democrat Majority won’t allow us to fulfill it.
The extremism here is really worrying. But the Majority Leader couldn’t get away with it if the Democrats in his caucus who claimed to be ‘moderate’ would actually stand up to him for once.
The so-called ‘moderates’ could stand up to him when he tries to shut down the legislative process. But they don’t.
The so-called ‘moderates’ could stand up to him when he blocks every reform to the President’s job-killing regulations, or when he blocks every effort to approve the Keystone Pipeline. But they don’t.
They won’t even stand up to President Obama when he jets off to speak to partisan groups and friendly audiences that rarely have the best interests of Coal Country at heart.
“I know the President will also be trying out a new PR campaign today to see what life is really like for the Middle Class – for those beyond the White House gates. But he won’t see the consequences of his EPA regulations at a political rally. He won’t see what his IRS has done to grassroots organizations, he won’t hear from the families of Veterans who died while waiting for a bureaucrat to hand out a doctor appointment, and he won’t see the damage Obamacare has caused for working families.
Well, if he’s actually serious about this initiative, then he’ll come to Kentucky to see the tragic effects of his policies firsthand. I invite him to visit with coal families in my state and hear the other side of the story that he won’t hear from California billionaires. I invite him to meet with the veterans I hear from every day. And I invite him to meet with families like the Whitehead family from Allen County who write to me about the damage his Obamacare law has already done.
But I doubt he will. And I doubt the so-called ‘moderate’ Senators will push him to do so anyway.
“So perhaps it’s time these Senators stopped referring to themselves as ‘moderate’ at all.
If they’re not willing to stand up to the Majority Leader or the President when it counts, then they’re just another party-line Democrat.
It’s really too bad.
Because we Republicans on this side of the aisle – we want to come to bipartisan solutions on the issues affecting so many of our constituents.
“We want to pass common-sense energy legislation that can create well-paying jobs, increase North American energy independence, and lower utility prices for struggling Middle Class families.
And we want to give Congress a say on extreme policies from the Administration that take aim at Middle Class jobs in our states.
But we can’t do any of that without dance partners on the Democrat side. And there’s hardly a true ‘moderate’ in sight anymore.
It’s a shame for our country.
But I, and my party – we’re going to keep fighting for the Middle Class either way. Even if we have to continue carrying on the battle for sensible, common-sense solutions alone.”
Information provided by Robert Steurer
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