McConnell on Obama Economy: It’s Clear We Need a Change to Get America Moving Again

‘We don’t have to accept the Obama economy as the new normal in our country. Democrats may want middle-class families to keep their gaze down and their expectations tempered, but we have a right to expect more in this country. We have a right to believe in the future.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the Senate back to work for the American people:


“After much hard work, research, and deliberation from both sides of the aisle, we’re closer to having an opportunity to pass the first funding bill of the appropriations season — the energy security and water infrastructure funding bill.

“I know members have had some differences in opinion about an amendment authored by Senator Cotton, but this is how the legislative process works.

“Senator Cotton’s amendment — which would prevent future funds from being used to purchase heavy water from Iran — is germane to this funding bill, and it deserves a vote.

“So we’re going to have that vote today, allowing Senators from both sides to have their say on this issue and allowing us to move forward on this important measure. 

The energy security and water infrastructure funding bill will positively impact every state in America.

“We know it includes important measures to support energy research and innovation, to promote public safety, to maintain waterways infrastructure, and to promote nuclear security.

“So let’s work to advance this bill and keep the appropriations process moving forward in a responsible manner.

“Yesterday the Senate passed the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, a bipartisan bill that as my friend, the Chairman of the Finance Committee observed, shows our ‘commitment to helping our economy with more jobs, bigger paychecks, and a stronger American manufacturing base.’

“And later today, the president will sign into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act — another Senate-passed bill that promotes our economy and helps create and retain American jobs.

“Both of these bills are the result of the work of two dedicated Committee Chairs, Senator Hatch and Senator Grassley.

“They’re also the result of a Senate that’s back to work for the American people.

“I want to thank the Finance and Judiciary Committee Chairmen for their efforts to advance these bills, just as I want to thank Senators Burr, Portman, Toomey, and Flake for their diligent work to help support American businesses and the economy through their efforts to pass the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act.

“President Obama recently bragged to The New York Times Magazine about his performance on the economy. He boasted about his economic legacy and actually claimed that, by his estimation, the Administration managed the economic recovery better than any peer economy facing a financial crisis ‘on Earth in modern history.’ That’s a quote.

“The same day this story hit, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first quarter report showing only 0.5% growth. It’s the latest reminder of the actual economy that Americans are forced to confront day in and day out.

“President Obama has presided over the worst economic recovery since World War II. Growth is anemic, wages are stagnant for too many, poverty is up for too many, jobs are scarce for too many, and Americans are losing faith in the future. And somehow President Obama doesn’t seem to think any of this is his problem — or a problem at all. The issue isn’t his policies or his refusal to work across the aisle on solutions — no, to him it’s just a messaging problem, it’s just that he was too busy to ‘take victory laps’ or explain things properly.

“He believes ‘the U.S. economy is in much better shape than the public appreciates’ as the magazine story I mentioned previously observes. In fact, he claims, ‘by almost every economic measure we are significantly better off.’

“Many in the Middle Class feel quite differently. Don’t just take my word for it.

“Here’s what Bill Clinton thinks of the Obama economy: ‘millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives.’

“Hardworking middle-class families simply ‘cannot find themselves’ in the picture this president has painted of the American economy.

“Median household incomes have shrunk under this president. Too many Americans have given up even looking for work altogether after years of failed attempts. One survey found more than half of Americans saying that ‘the next generation will be worse off than them financially.

“The Middle Class has now shrunk to such an extent under President Obama that it no longer constitutes a majority of Americans. That’s something none of us should take comfort in.

“I’d like to read you a quote from the president. I’m not sure he intended it, but President Obama said something a few months ago that seemed to sum up his economic legacy. ‘There was a time I think when upward mobility was the hallmark of America,’ he said. He’s right. There was a time. There can be a time again.

“We don’t have to accept the Obama economy as the new normal in our country. Democrats may want middle-class families to keep their gaze down and their expectations tempered, but we have a right to expect more in this country. We have a right to believe in the future.

“It’s clear we need a change to get America moving again.

“The Republican-led Senate will continue to look for and pass real solutions that aim to get our country back on track — solutions to help foster economic growth…solutions to help create jobs and strengthen our workforce…solutions to help America prosper once more.

“If President Obama wants to actually build an economic legacy for himself, not just try to spin Americans on one, then I invite him to finally join us.

“My Republican colleagues will have more to say on the economy this afternoon. I want to thank my colleague Senator Sullivan who has been outspoken on this important matter. I also want to thank Senator Coats, for his work to strengthen our economic policies as Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. These Senators know the costly toll the Obama economy has had on people in their home states, and they’re working to address it.”

Related Issues: Economy, Energy, Jobs, Back to Work, Appropriations, Middle Class, Infrastructure