Republican Leadership Gets Senate Working for the American People
‘[T]his Republican majority is following through on what we’ve set out to do from the beginning: open up the legislative process, get committees up and running again, empower members from both sides, find areas of common ground, and advance legislation that can make a difference for people across our country. And just because Democrats are again reverting to their dysfunctional ways because they believe it suits them politically, it doesn’t change the reality that we’ve made significant progress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding accomplishments Senate during the Republican Majority:
“One newspaper recently declared that the Senate ‘has settled into a new normal’ under Republican leadership, ‘passing bills at [a] rate not seen in decades.’ And that is good news for the American people. Here’s why.
“This ‘new normal’ includes more than 225 bills that have been passed, along with more than 140 bills that have become law—and I’m not just talking about bills from Republicans, but bills from Democrats too.
“For instance, the Senior Senator from Delaware, who’s seen four of his bills become law. For instance, the Senior Senator from California, who’s seen three become law. And, for instance, our Democratic colleagues from Rhode Island and Minnesota, who saw the CARA bill they worked on with Republican Senators like Senator Portman, Senator Ayotte, and Senator Grassley pass yesterday.
“CARA is a comprehensive legislative response to the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic ravaging our country. Legislation to address this epidemic languished under a previous Judiciary chairman, but Senator Grassley worked to change that. He made it a priority and moved it swiftly. CARA wouldn’t have been possible without him, just as it wouldn’t have been possible without members like Senator Portman and Senator Ayotte who have worked to drive this bill forward every step of the way. I’d also like to thank Senator Alexander for his work in conference committee to secure a strong final bill. The bill we passed will help protect more Americans from addiction and overdose, and we expect the President to sign it into law soon.
“Here’s another important bill we passed yesterday and also expect the President to sign into law soon. It’s the most comprehensive aviation security reform legislation in a decade, and it contains significant consumer protections for airline passengers too. This important bill will help protect Americans at our airports and in our skies, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the good work of Senator Thune who worked with Senator Nelson to guide it through to passage.
“In just the past week or so we saw the crisis in Puerto Rico and we responded—with responsible legislation designed to prevent a taxpayer bailout and help the Puerto Rican people. We saw the threat of rising food prices for Middle-Class families and we responded—with science-based legislation designed to prevent confusing and costly laws in one state from raising grocery bills in another.
“And while Senate Democrats are now trying to make it impossible to get the basic work of government accomplished with some ‘Filibuster Summer’ sequel, we’ve been able to make progress there too. The full Appropriations Committee has approved all 12 funding bills—at record early time and with broad, bipartisan support—many of them with unanimous backing from both sides. The full Senate has passed some on the floor, and if our Democratic friends would work with us, we could pass the others as well.
“The Republican-led Senate set out to give these appropriations bills ample amount of floor time for Senators to debate these measures, so more of the American people could be represented in the lawmaking process, and that’s just what we’ve done.
“The Republican-led Senate set out to give colleagues from both sides more of a voice allowing amendments and bills from both sides, because better process leads to better results for the American people, and that’s just what we’ve done.
“We did so because this Republican majority is following through on what we’ve set out to do from the beginning: open up the legislative process, get committees up and running again, empower members from both sides, find areas of common ground, and advance legislation that can make a difference for people across our country. And just because Democrats are again reverting to their dysfunctional ways because they believe it suits them politically, it doesn’t change the reality that we’ve made significant progress in restoring the Senate to significantly better health.
“We’ve clearly put the Senate back to work too. There are so many other measures we’ve passed besides those I’ve mentioned already. Groundbreaking reforms in education and in transportation. Permanent tax relief for families and small businesses.
Trading more of Washington’s annual patches and punts for real solutions. All of these good ideas—and so many more—are now law, which benefits the people we represent.
“We’ve gotten so much done already. There’s much more we can do too, as long as our Democratic colleagues aren’t determined to obstruct for its own sake. I think many on the other side have much to ponder over the state work period about Zika, veterans, our men and women in uniform…and then they’ll have to decide. Do they want to continue with these partisan games on critical issues like Zika and national defense, or do they want to work with us to keep making progress for our country?
“We’ll certainly give them more opportunities to make progress on appropriations. We’ll certainly give them opportunities to make progress on important issues like energy and defense. And even if Democratic Leaders might prefer dysfunction and partisan games, members from both sides know that the Republican-led Senate has given them more of an opportunity to move legislation and their constituents more of a voice.
“With continued hard work, and cooperation from our friends across the aisle, we can continue to add to that record of achievement for people across the country. Shouldn’t that be what we all want after all?”
Related Issues: Opioid Abuse, Back to Work, Senate Democrats, Taxes, Middle Class, Appropriations, Zika Virus