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McConnell: There's A "Gone Campaignin'" Sign Outside The Oval Office

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Senate Democrats’ willingness to vote for an over-budget THUD appropriations bill that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties and moves the nation in the exact wrong direction:

“You know, there’s not much to say about the President’s speech yesterday, other than that he actually retreated from previous commitments to a more bipartisan, revenue-neutral corporate tax reform, and then tried to sell that rejection of bipartisanship as some quote-unquote ‘grand bargain.’

“I mean, only in Washington. But let me say this: it really would be nice to see the President work with Congress for a change to get some important things done for the American people. Republicans have been eager to do this all along. But it’s almost like he’s got a ‘Gone Campaignin’ sign hanging outside the Oval Office. And, on the rarest of occasions when he does come to the Hill – as he will today – you find out it’s basically just for another internal campaign rally with Democrats.

“So I hope he’ll finally get serious, and make one of his famous ‘pivots’ in a new direction – toward effective policy and away from the never-ending political sideshow. But it’s hard to see, especially when you consider that the President’s party is now attempting to blow up one of the most genuinely bipartisan accomplishments of the Obama era.

“The Budget Control Act that was agreed upon two summers ago represents a commitment from Washington to America – a bipartisan promise to enact $2.1 trillion in spending control.

“Last year, the slightest hint of fiddling with spending caps led to a furious response from senior Washington Democrats. It even led to a veto threat from the White House. But now, Washington Democrats are tired of bipartisanship. The commitments they made have become an inconvenience to their special-interest agenda. So now, they’re threatening to shut down the government if they’re not allowed to break their word.

“That’s what this appropriations debate we’re having is all about. It’s about an attempt to blow up an important bipartisan achievement by busting the spending caps both parties already agreed to. Well, Republicans don’t believe we should be breaking our commitments to the American people. And breaking commitments in order to overspend, as Democrats propose, seems like an even worse reason for them to shut down the government.

“So I hope they won’t. I hope they think about the ‘third way’ offer we’ve made to them too – that we’d happily discuss exchanging some of the particular cuts they don’t like for government reforms. The kind of innovative ideas that can get our economy on track and our government back in the black – not just in the immediate term, but over the long haul.

“This policy discussion has never been more relevant. Especially when we look at what’s happening in Detroit. What’s happening in Europe. When we realize that the real-world consequences of putting off reform are no longer just abstract or hypothetical. They’re here. They’re real. They’re now.

“The experts tell us that the United States is already on a completely unsustainable fiscal trajectory, and that we need to make some big changes today if we want to avoid a similar fate. They also tell us that, unlike Detroit or Greece, America still has some time to chart her own future – but not long.

“That’s why the choices we make today are so important. We can follow the Democrat path to austerity. The path of breaking spending caps wide open and borrowing more money we don’t have, of callously rejecting reform and blissfully denying the future. The path that inevitably leads to European-style austerity. To the decimation of the middle class. To desperation for the least among us.

“Or we can follow the Republican path to reform and growth. A path of smart choices, innovative reforms, and orienting our economy toward the future. A path that not only prevents austerity tomorrow, but leads to more jobs and a better economy today.

“A Democrat path to austerity, or a Republican path to reform and growth. These are the choices.

“Voting for appropriations legislation that blatantly violates budget reforms already agreed to by both parties moves our country in the exact wrong direction. It puts us on the Democrat path to austerity. That’s one of the many reasons I’ll be voting against this spending bill, and that I urge my colleagues to do the same. Because it’s time to get serious about the challenges we face. It’s time to work together to reposition America for growth, and prosperity, and sustainability in the 21st Century.

“And if the President is willing to get off the campaign trail and show some leadership with his party – to convince them of the need for positive reforms, and of the need to actually stick to them – I’m confident we can create a better economy today and leave a better future to our children tomorrow. But it’s up to him. And his visit today offers a great chance to convey this message to his fellow Democrats.”

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