Senate Democrats

McConnell request to vote on debt limit proposal

During Leader remarks today, Senator McConnell asked consent that it be in order to vote on an amendment, which is the President’s debt limit extension proposal, to the Russian PNTR measure (H.R.6156).

 

Senator Reid objected to this request.  The unofficial transcript of their remarks is below.

 

MR. McCONNELL: YESTERDAY AFTERNOON CAME TO THE FLOOR AND

OFFERED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROPOSAL ON THE FISCAL CLIFF TO SHOW

THAT NEITHER HE NOR DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS ARE ACTING IN GOOD

FAITH IN THESE NEGOTIATIONS. WITH JUST A FEW WEEKS TO GO BEFORE

A POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING AND ENTIRELY AVOIDABLE BLOW TO THE

ECONOMY, THE PRESIDENT PROPOSED A PLAN THAT MEMBERS OF HIS OWN

PARTY WON’T EVEN VOTE FOR. SO I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY AT THIS

POINT THAT THE PRESIDENT ACTUALLY ISN’T INTERESTED IN A

BALANCED AGREEMENT, HE’S NOT PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN

AVOIDING THE FISCAL CLIFF, AND HE’S CLEARLY NOT INTERESTED AT

ALL IN CUTTING ANY SPENDING. WHAT THE PRESIDENT IS REALLY

INTERESTED IN, AS WE LEARNED JUST YESTERDAY, IS GETTING AS MUCH

TAXPAYER MONEY AS HE CAN, FIRST, BY RAISING TAXES ON SMALL

BUSINESS THAT HE BELIEVES ARE MAKING TOO MUCH MONEY AND THEN ON

EVERYBODY ELSE, NOT SO HE CAN LOWER THE DEBT OR THE DEFICIT BUT

SO HE CAN SPEND TO HIS HEART’S CONTEFNLTS FOR MONTHS THE

PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SAYING ALL HE WANTS IS TO

{ NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE SENATE PROCEEDINGS.}

 

{ 2012/12/06 TIME: 09-45 , Thu. 112th SENATE, SECOND SESSION}

{ NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE SENATE PROCEEDINGS.}

 

TERDAY HE FINALLY REVEALED THAT’S NOT REALLY HIS TRUE INTENT.

BY DEMANDING THE POWER TO RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT WHENEVER HE

WANTS, BY AS MUCH AS HE WANTS, HE SHOWED WHAT HE’S REALLY AFTER

IS ASSUMING UNPRECEDENTED POWER TO SPEND TAXPAYER DOLLARS

WITHOUT ANY LIMIT AT ALL. THIS ISN’T ABOUT GETTING A HANDLE ON

DEFICITS OR DEBT FOR HIM. IT’S ABOUT SPENDING EVEN MORE THAN HE

ALREADY HAS. WHY ELSE WOULD HE DEMAND THE POWER TO RAISE THE

DEBT LIMIT ON HIS OWN?

BY THE WAY, WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE EVER CONSIDER GIVING A

PRESIDENT WHO’S BROUGHT US FOUR YEARS OF $1 TRILLION UNCHECKED

DEFICITS AUTHORITY TO BORROW?

HE’S THE LAST PERSON WHO SHOULD HAVE LIMITLESS BORROWING POWER.

THE ONLY WAY WE EVER CUT SPENDING AROUND HERE IS BY USING THE

DEBATE OVER THE DEBT LIMIT TO DO IT. NOW THE PRESIDENT WANTS TO

REMOVE THAT SPUR TO CUT ALTOGETHER. OF COURSE IT GETS IN THE

WAY OF HIS SPENDING PLANS. I ASSURE YOU IT’S NOT GOING TO

HAPPEN. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT WASHINGTON TO GET SPENDING

UNDER CONTROL, AND THE DEBT LIMIT IS THE BEST TOOL WE HAVE TO

MAKE THE PRESIDENT TAKE THAT DEMAND SERIOUSLY. THE AMERICAN

PEOPLE WANT US TO FIGHT TO CUT SPENDING. IT’S A FIGHT THEY

DESERVE AND A FIGHT WE’RE HAPPY TO HAVE. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, I

INDICATED TO THE MAJORITY LEADER I WAS GOING TO PROPOUND THE

FOLLOWING

CONSENT: I’M PREPARED TO ASK CONSENT TO ALLOW THE SENATE TO

VOTE ON THE PRESIDENT’S DEBT LIMIT PROPOSAL. I WOULD ASK THIS

EITHER AS AN AMENDMENT TO THE RUSSIAN PNTR MEASURE THAT WE WILL

VOTE ON THIS AFTERNOON OR A FREE-STANDING BILL IF THAT IS

PREFERRED. THEREFORE, I NOW ASK CONSENT THAT IT BE IN ORDER TO

VOTE ON AN AMENDMENT WHICH IS THE PRESIDENT’S DEBT LIMIT

EXTENSION PROPOSAL THAT I JUST DESCRIBED PRIOR TO THE PASSAGE

OF THE RUSSIA PNTR BILL TODAY. SPOEUP IS THERE –

{09:47:15 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION?

{09:47:15 NSP} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT?

{09:47:18 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

{09:47:23 NSP} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MR. REID: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. I’M SORRY. RESERVING

THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, MR. PRESIDENT. I’VE BEEN THINKING HOW BEST

TO DESCRIBE WHAT’S GOING ON HERE ON CAPITOL HILL IN THE LAST

COUPLE OF WEEKS. EVERY MORNING I GET UP, THE FIRST THING I READ

IS THE SPORTS PAGE. I’M DISAPPOINTED IN THE SPORTS PAGE IN “THE

WASHINGTON POST” IS NOT NEARLY AS GOOD AS IT USED TO BE AND

“THE NEW YORK TIMES” IS NOT GOOD EITHER. BUT I READ THEM.

THERE’S ALWAYS SOME GOOD NEWS ON THE SPORTS PAGE. THEN I GO TO

THE FRONT PAGE AND GET SOME OF THE BAD NEWS. BUT I FOLLOW

SPORTS, NO MATTER

WHAT IT IS: BASKETBALL, FOOTBALL, BASEBALL. WHATEVER IT IS. AND

I’VE WATCHED VERY CLOSELY. IT’S NOT ONE OF MY FAVORITE TEAMS

BUT IT’S REALLY FUN TO WATCH, AND THAT’S THE NEW YORK JETS. NEW

YORK JETS, YES. NEW YORK JETS. COACH RYAN, HE’S GOT A PROBLEM.

HE HAS THREE QUARTERBACKS. SANCHEZ. HE’S GOT TIM TEBOW. HE’S

GOT A GUY NAMED McELROY. HE CAN’T DECIDE WHO THEIR QUARTERBACK

IS GOING TO BE. THAT’S THE SAME PROBLEM THE REPUBLICANS HAVE.

WHO IS THE QUARTERBACK, MR. PRESIDENT?

WHO IS THE QUARTERBACK?

MR. PRESIDENT, MY FRIEND TALKS ABOUT THE $1 TRILLION, TRILLIONS

OF DOLLARS OF DEBT. MR. PRESIDENT, WE JUST HAD AN ELECTION. THE

PEOPLE OVERWHELMINGLY KNOW WHY WE HAVE THIS DEBT. THE POLLING

RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION SHOWED THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE

AMERICAN PEOPLE REALIZE THE DEBT WAS CAUSED BY GEORGE BUSH.

THAT’S A FACT. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, WE’VE CREATED, THERE WILL BE

ANOTHER JOBS REPORT OUT TOMORROW. WE HAD A LITTLE PROBLEM

BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED WITH HURRICANE SANDY, BUT WE’LL STILL

HAVE ABOUT 100,000 NEW JOBS. WE’RE APPROACHING, IT MUST BE

ABOUT FOUR MILLION JOBS NOW THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED. IT DOESN’T

NEARLY MAKE UP WHAT WAS LOST DURING THE BUSH YEARS, BUT WE’RE

MAKING PROGRESS. MR. PRESIDENT, PEOPLE IN AMERICA REALIZE WE

CAN NO LONGER HAVE THE TOP-DOWN ECONOMY THAT THE REPUBLICANS SO

LOVED DURING THE BUSH YEARS AND WHAT THEY WANTED TO CREATE

AGAIN WITH GOVERNOR ROMNEY. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I’D BE HAPPY TO

TAKE A LOOK AT THE PROPOSAL THAT THE PRESIDENT — THAT MY

FRIEND, THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, HAS SHOWN US. IF WE CAN COME UP

WITH SOMETHING LIKE WE DID WHEN THEY CREATED THIS OTHER FUROR

BY REFUSING TO INCREASE THE DEBT WHERE WE HAD AN ABILITY TO

COME HERE AND HAVE A COUPLE OF VOTES TO DETERMINE IF WE WERE

GOING TO INCREASE IT, IF THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT TO DO AGAIN, I’D

BE HAPPY TO SERIOUSLY TAKE A LOOK AT THAT AND REPORT TO THE

WHITE HOUSE AND MY CAUCUS. BUT UNTIL THEN, I OBJECT. MR.

McCONNELL: MR. PRESIDENT?

 

{09:50:11} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

{09:50:16 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION HAVING BEEN HEARD. MR.

McCONNELL: MR. PRESIDENT?

{09:50:19 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MINORITY LEADER.

09:50:21 NSP} (MR. McCONNELL) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MR. McCONNELL: MY FRIEND THE MAJORITY LEADER INDICATES THERE IS

SOME CONFUSION ABOUT WHO IS THE QUARTERBACK ON THE REPUBLICAN

SIDE. THAT IS OF COURSE QUITE COMMON WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE THE

WHITE HOUSE. BUT THERE’S NO DOUBT ABOUT WHO THE QUARTERBACK IS

ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE. THE QUARTERBACK ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE

IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. AND, UNFORTUNATELY, HE

KEEPS THROWING INTERCEPTIONS. AND WE’RE MOVING BACKWARD AND

BACKWARD AND BACKWARD TOWARD THE GOAL LINE. $4 TRILLION ANNUAL

DEFICITS, AND MY FRIEND FROM NEVADA STILL WANTS TO BLAME THAT

ON GEORGE BUSH?

LOOK, AND NOW HE’S ASKING FOR AN UNLIMITED, AN UNLIMITED

AUTHORITY TO BORROW WHENEVER HE WANTS TO FOR WHATEVER AMOUNT HE WANTS TO?

IF THE MAJORITY LEADER SUPPORTS THAT PROPOSAL, I WOULD HOPE

THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER HERE AND GET A VOTE ON IT AND GIVE

HIS MEMBERS A CHANCE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES AS TO WHETHER OR NOT

THEY THINK THAT’S A GOOD WAY FORWARD FOR OUR COUNTRY, TO GIVE

THIS PRESIDENT OR ANY OTHER PRESIDENT UNLIMITED AUTHORITY TO

BORROW AS MUCH AS HE WANTS AT ANY TIME HE WANTS FROM THE

CHINESE OR ANYBODY ELSE. THAT’S THE QUESTION.

 

MR. REID: MR.

PRESIDENT?

{09:51:35 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

{09:51:37 NSP} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MR. REID: OF COURSE, AS I SAID, WE’LL BE HAPPY TO LOOK AT THE

PROPOSAL BY MY FRIEND. BUT THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T WANT TO DO

ANYTHING OTHER THAN WHAT WE’VE DONE BEFORE, AND THAT’S WHERE WE

ARE NOW AND THAT’S WHY I’D BE HAPPY TO TAKE A LOOK AT HIS

PROPOSAL. IF IT’S WHAT WE DID LAST SUMMER, I’D BE HAPPY TO TAKE

A LOOK AT THAT AND MOVE FORWARD ON THIS. WE HAVE, MR.

PRESIDENT, IT’S NOT ONLY WE DEMOCRATS, BUT WE HAVE A LONG LINE

OF REPUBLICANS WHO I OUTLINED EARLY ON, WHERE PEOPLE RECOGNIZE

THAT IMMEDIATELY WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS AND

THE POOR ARE TAKEN CARE OF WITHOUT THEIR TAXES BEING INCREASED.

WE’VE GOT REPRESENTATIVES COLE, SCOTT, SENATORS SNOWE, COLLINS

AND COBURN AND A LONG LIST OF REPUBLICANS ARE SAYING LET’S MOVE

ON.

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