Senate Democrats

McConnell request to consider ACA and Veterans amendment to UI extension

Senator McConnell asked unanimous consent that if cloture is invoked on the motion to proceed to S.1845, Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Ac; then all post cloture time be yielded back; that Senators McConnell and Hatch have the first amendment in order, which would be an amendment to delay the Obamacare individual mandate for one year and to modify the veterans retirement benefits under the Budget agreement; further that there be one hour of debate prior to a vote on the amendment prior to a vote on the amendment; and then additional amendments beyond that be offered in an alternating fashion.

 

Senator Reid objected.

 

A partial transcript of Senator Reid’s remarks can be found below (partial because of a glitch in the transcript system)

MR. REID: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO DB ASH I APPRECIATE HOW CANDID

MY REPUBLICAN COUNTERPART IS. I DO SPEAK WITH SOME — I TRIERKS

I’M NOT REAL GOOD AT SPEAKING WITH A LOT OF FERVOR, BUT I FEEL

VERY STONGLY ABOUT THIS ISSUE. PEOPLE ARE UNEMPLOYED. CAN’T

{10:16:23} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

FIND A JOB. IT IS A TOUGH DEAL. I’VE FORTUNATELY ALWAYS HAD A

JOB. I CAN’T SAY THE SAME FOR MY

{10:16:56} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

FAMILY, ESPECIALLY MY DAD PAST OVER THE PAST SEVERAL DAYS WE’VE

SEEN A NUMBER OF STORIES ABOUT HOW DEMOCRATS PLAN TO SPEND THE

YEAR GEARING UP FOR NOVEMBER ELECTIONS BY MAKING AN ISSUE OUT

OF ECONOMIC HARDSHIPS FACED BY AMERICANS. IN OTHER WORDS,

INSTEAD OF WORKING ON REFORMS THAT WOULD ACTUALLY HELP PEOPLE

OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES SO MANY OF THEM FACE THEY WERE TRYING

TO EXPLOIT THOSE FOLKS FOR POLITICAL GAIN. IT IS AMAZING WHEN

{10:18:48} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

YOU THINK ABOUT IT. WE’RE NOW IN THE SIXTH YEAR — SIXTH YEAR

OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. WE ALL KNOW THE STOCK MARKET’S

BEEN DOING GREAT, SO THE RICHEST AMONG US ARE DOING JUST FINE.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE POOR?

WHAT ABOUT WORKING CLASS FOLKS?

WHAT ABOUT FOLKS THAT WORK IN INDUSTRIES THAT LIBERALS DON’T

APPROVE OF, LIKE COAL?

HOW MANY OF THESE AMERICANS HAVE BEEN DOING WELL DURING THE

OBAMA ECONOMY?

{10:19:21} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

RECORD NUMBERS OF THEM ARE HAVING A PERFECTLY TERRIBLE TIME.

ONE INDICATOR IS THE GROWTH OF THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM. CONSIDER

THIS. SINCE THE PRESIDENT TOOK OFFICE, THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS

WHO SIGNED UP FOR FOOD STAMP -PS HAS LITERALLY SKYROCKETED.

CORROBORATINGED. IT IS UP — SKYROCKETED. IT IS UP ALMOST HALF.

NEARLY FOUR OUT OF TEN AMERICANS ARE LITERALLY TRAPPED IN LONG

TERM UNEMPLOYMENT. WHAT’S WORSE, THE POOREST AMERICANS ARE THE

ONES WHO HAVE HAD A HARD TIME RECOVERING IN THIS ECONOMY. YES,

{10:19:56} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDENT TOOK OFFICE IN THE MIDST OF AN ECONOMIC CRISIS.

NO ONE DISPUTES THAT. BUT FOR MANY AMERICANS, A TERRIBLE

SITUATION SEEMS TO HAVE ONLY GOTTEN WORSE OVER THE COURSE OF

THIS ADMINISTRATION. SO FOR THE PRESIDENT TO TURN AROUND AND

TRY TO BLAME HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS FOR THE SUFFERING WE’VE

SEEN OUT THERE, THAT TAKES A PRETTY GOOD AMOUNT OF NERVE. IT

ALSO SENDS A COLLECTIVE CASE OF NATIONAL AMNESIA. IT WOULD TAKE

A COLLECTIVE CASE OF NATIONAL AMNESIA TO REACH THOSE

{10:20:28} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

CONCLUSIONS. BECAUSE REMEMBER, THESE ARE THE SAME FOLKS WHO

GAVE US THE STIMULUS, WHO GAVE US TAX INCREASES, WHO GAVE US

OBAMACARE. ALL OF IT WAS DONE IN THE NAME OF HELPING THE LITTLE

GUY. IN THE NAME OF GREATER EQUALITY. SO WHAT THEY’VE GIVEN US,

IT’S GIVEN US THIS MESS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR COUNTRY?

RECORD NUMBERS OF LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED. RECORD NUMBERS ON FOOD

STAMP -PS, PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HEALTH CARE PLANS, OTHERS SEEING

{10:21:04} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

PREMIUMS SHOOT UP WHEN THEY CAN LEAST AFFORD IT. AND NOW

ANOTHER CALL, ONE MORE CALL FOR A GOVERNMENT FIX. WASHINGTON

DEMOCRATS HAVE SHOWN ALMOST NO INTEREST FOR FIVE YEARS IN

WORKING TOGETHER ON WAYS TO CREATE THE KIND OF GOOD, STABLE,

HIGH-PAYING JOBS THAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT AND NEED. THIS IS A

REAL DISSERVICE. FIRST AND FOREMOST TO THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING

THE MOST OUT THERE, FROM THE COLLEGE GRADUATE WHO SUDDENLY

FINDS HERSELF WONDERING WHY SHE’S GOT HUGE STUDENT LOAN DEBTS

{10:21:36} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

BUT NO PROSPECTS OF WORK TO THE 50-YEAR-OLD DAD WHO’S WORKED

HIS WHOLE ADULT LIFE AND SUDDENLY CAN’T FIND A JOB THAT MEETS

EITHER HIS NEEDS OR HIS POTENTIAL. AND YET, THIS

ADMINISTRATION’S PROPOSED SOLUTION IS JUST TO SLAP ANOTHER

BAND-AID FROM WASHINGTON ON IT AND CALL IT A DAY. YES, WE

SHOULD WORK ON SOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT THOSE WHO ARE OUT OF WORK

THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. BUT THERE’S LITERALLY NO EXCUSE

TO PASS UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE LEGISLATION WITHOUT ALSO FINDING

WAYS TO CREATE GOOD, STABLE, HIGH-PAYING JOBS AND ALSO TRYING

{10:22:12} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

TO FIND THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT. WHAT I’M SAYING IS LET’S

SUPPORT MEANINGFUL JOB CREATION MEASURES AND LET’S FIND A WAY

TO PAY FOR THESE U.I. BENEFITS SO WE’RE NOT ADDING TO AN

ALREADY COMPLETELY UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT. UNFORTUNATELY, THE

ADMINISTRATION SEEMS ALMOST TOTALLY DISINTERESTED IN SOLUTIONS

THAT DON’T PUT GOVERNMENT IN THE LEAD, AND IT SEEMS NEARLY

INCAPABLE OF WORKING WITH THOSE WHO DON’T SHARE THAT BELIEF.

AND THAT IN MANY WAYS IS PRECISELY WHY WE’RE IN THE SITUATION

{10:22:45} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

WE’RE IN. BECAUSE IT’S ONLY WHEN YOU BELIEVE GOVERNMENT IS THE

ANSWER TO ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS THAT YOU TALK ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT

INSURANCE INSTEAD OF JOB CREATION. AND THE MINIMUM WAGE INSTEAD

OF HELPING PEOPLE REACH THEIR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL. SO IT’S TIME

TO GET AWAY FROM — QUOTE — “TEMPORARY GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS”

AND GIVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO DRIVE AN

ECONOMY THAT TRULY WORKS FOR THEM AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES. WE

COULD START WITH ONE OF THE REAL BRIGHT SPOTS IN OUR ECONOMY,

{10:23:16} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

AND THAT’S ENERGY. A FIELD THAT’S POISED TO HELP OUR ECONOMY

CREATE LITERALLY MILLIONS OF JOBS IF ONLY THE ADMINISTRATION

WOULD GET OUT OF THE WAY. ANOTHER AREA WHERE WE SHOULD BE ABLE

TO WORK TOGETHER IS HEALTH CARE. BY ALMOST ANY METRIC,

AFFORDABILITY, ACCESSIBILITY, EVEN THE RATIO OF CANCELLATIONS

TO ENROLLMENTS, THIS LAW HAS IMPOSED MORE PAIN AND MORE

DISTRESS THAN MANY HAD EVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE. CENTRISTS,

MODERATES, CONSERVATIVES, JUST ABOUT ANY SENSIBLE PERSON

{10:23:48} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

OUTSIDE THE CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP HERE IN

WASHINGTON HAS LONG UNDERSTOOD THIS. BUT NOW EVEN THE LEFT IS

STARTING TO COME TO GRIPS WITH THE PAINFULLY OBVIOUS FACT THAT

THE LAW THAT IT FELL IN LOVE WITH CAN’T POSSIBLY WORK. LAST

WEEK ONE OF THE GREAT ONES OF THE LEFT ADMITTED THAT OBAMACARE

IS AWFUL, DIRECT QUOTE. CALLING IT — QUOTE — “THE DIRTY

LITTLE SECRET MANY LIBERALS AVOIDED SAYING OUT LOUD.” I DON’T

{10:24:19} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

AGREE WITH THIS MAN ON MUCH ELSE INCLUDING HIS IDEAS ON HEALTH

CARE BUT IT IS GOOD TO HEAR HIM TO AT LEAST ADMIT THIS IS NOT

WORKING. THE PRESIDENT’S AMEN CHORUS HAD AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO

SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER WHEN IT MATTERED. AND AT MOST, MOST, CHOSE

TO REMAIN SILENT. FOR THAT, THE LAW’S APOLOGISTS LEFT THE

AMERICAN PEOPLE TO PAY THE PRICE. LET ME REA — LET ME READ YOU

PART OF A LETTER FROM A CONSTITUENT OF MINE IN HOPKINSVILLE.

{10:24:54} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THIS IS WHAT SHE. “I HAVE LESS COVERAGE DHAIN B I DIDN’T GET TO

KEEP MY POLICY THAT I WAS HAPPY WITH. I. EVERY DOLLAR I HAVE TO

PAY MORE IS A DOLLAR TAKEN FROM MY FAMILY. I NEVER THOUGHT THAT

IN AMERICA WE WOULD BE FORCED TO PURCHASE SOMETHING WE CANNOT

AFFORD. WE WORKED HARD TO GET WHERE WE ARE. NOW WE’RE BEING

FORCED TO PAY MORE IN ORDER TO PAY FOR SOMEBODY ELSE’S

INSURANCE. HOW IS THAT FAIR?” I HEAR YOU, JENNIFER. EVERYONE ON

THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE HEARS THOSE CONCERNS. HERE’S SOMETHING

{10:25:25} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

ELSE. MANY KENTUCKIANS ARE FINDING THAT OBAMACARE IS ABOUT MORE

THAN JUST HIGHER PREMIUMS AND CUTS TO MEDICARE. IT’S ALSO ABOUT

A LACK OF ACCESS TO DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS. ONE OF THE MOST

LEFT-WING PAPERS IN MY STATE RECENTLY RAN A BIG STORY ABOUT HOW

MANY OBAMACARE COVERAGE NETWORKS EXCLUDE — EXCLUDE — SO MANY

OF THE HOSPITALS MY CONSTITUENTS WANT TO USE. A FEW WEEKS AGO

THE MAJORITY LEADER BASICALLY SAID THE CRITICISMS OF OBAMACARE

AMOUNTED TO JOKES. WELL, HE MIGHT LIKE TO THINK THIS IS ALL

{10:25:59} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

SOME JOKE, BUT THE CONSTITUENTS WHO’VE BEEN WRITING ME ABOUT

THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FAILED LAW DON’T SEE IT THAT WAY. I

KNOW THIS MUST WEIGH HEAVILY ON OUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES. I

KNOW THEY CAN’T SEE SO MANY AMERICANS HURTING BECAUSE OF

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