Bipartisan Legislation Would Eliminate Energy Export Ban, Bolster National Security
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the bipartisan omnibus and tax relief legislation:
“The American people have two principal concerns: our nation’s security and the economy.
“The legislation we’ll soon consider would help address both.
“It would enact permanent tax relief for American families and small businesses. That will lead to more jobs, more opportunity, and more economic growth here in America.
“Another way this legislation will help support jobs and grow the economy is by permanently eliminating a relic from the 1970s. This 40-year energy ban has cost our economy jobs and it strengthens oil exporters like Iran and Russia.
“It’s no secret that Russia views its energy resources as a foreign policy tool. It’s no secret that Iran views its energy resources as a component of national power — nor is it a secret that President Obama recently granted the Iranian regime permission to export those resources. Many think it’s time the American people were treated at least as fairly as Iran.
“This critical energy reform would help strengthen America’s jobs and America’s safety. But it’s only a small part of how the overall bill would support our national security.
“For instance, we know that preventing another crisis in military readiness will require significant investments over the medium-term and over the long-term. We know that there is much to be done. But we also know that this legislation represents a critical step forward. It would finally ensure our military has the funding it needs to train, equip, and confront the threats we face from terrorist groups like ISIL and countries like Iran.
“We know that preventing another crisis in military readiness will require significant investments over the near, medium and over the long-term. For instance, our air campaign over Syria and Iraq has our Navy, Marine Corps and Air force flying sorties that will further stress the readiness of the force, and those planes need to be maintained, repaired, and ultimately replaced. We know that there is much to be done. But we also know that this legislation represents a critical step forward. It would finally ensure our military has more of the funding it needs to train, equip, and confront the threats we face from terrorist groups like ISIL and countries like Iran.
“We know this legislation would honor our veterans by funding the health care and benefits they rely on. We know it would enact critical reforms to help address the crises we’ve seen at the V.A.
“We know this legislation would, at a time of new and evolving terror threats, bring badly needed reform to the Visa Waiver Program. We know it would bolster the FBI’s ability to confront terror within our borders.
“We know this legislation would prevent the transfer of dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo’s secure detention center into our communities.
“We also know this legislation would enact an important cybersecurity information-sharing measure. It’s clear that countries like China, Russia, and Iran are determined to continue launching cyberattacks against us. We know that the Administration already succumbed to a devastating cyberattack recently. It’s time to provide the American people with some long-overdue protection.
“The legislation before us would go a long way toward strengthening our national security in a dangerous world. Its provisions will help advance other important conservative priorities too, like strengthening the First Amendment and helping protect families from a health law that attacks the Middle Class.
“This legislation would, in the wake of the Obama Administration’s conservative speech-suppression scandal, enact important reforms at the IRS and force it to root out waste. These reforms would help prevent another Lois Lerner, and they would help ensure that IRS employees who target Americans for their political beliefs are actually fired.
“This legislation would strip out more pieces of a partisan law that hurts the Middle Class. One newspaper said the measure before us would “take an ax” to a “key pillar” of Obamacare. It would prevent a taxpayer bailout for Obamacare too.
“The Administration pushed hard to reverse that last provision. They did not succeed.
“The legislation before us would root out waste, fraud, and abuse. It would consolidate or terminate dozens of programs. It would make long-overdue reforms to our tax code.
“It contains pro-life and pro-Second Amendment protections too.
“So here’s the bottom line in my view.
“This is legislation worth supporting.
“It doesn’t mean this is the legislation I would’ve written on my own. It doesn’t mean this is the legislation Speaker Ryan would’ve written on his own either. It’s not perfect and we certainly didn’t get everything that we wanted.
“But it makes strides in defending our nation at a time of global unrest.
“It advances conservative priorities in several areas and enacts significant reform in several areas, on everything from tax relief to energy policy to cybersecurity.
“I plan to vote for it.
“I hope colleagues will choose to do the same.
“And before I leave the floor, I’d like to acknowledge the impressive work of the Chairman of the Finance Committee on the tax side of this issue. Permanent reform was never going to be easy to come by. But this thoughtful legislator never gave up, and he and his staff continued to work on this issue for a very long time. The result is a significant accomplishment for American families and the American economy. I thank him for all he’s done.”
Related Issues: National Security, War on Terror, Energy, Middle Class, Taxes, Health Care, Jobs, Obamacare, Appropriations, Economy, Second Amendment, Cybersecurity, First Amendment