Floor Updates

Reid, McConnell

Opening Remarks

Apr 16 2012

02:19 PM

Senator Reid: (2:02 PM)
  • Today --
    • The Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 2230, the Buffett Rule bill, with the time until 4:30 PM equally divided.
    • At 4:30 PM, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session for 1 hour of debate, equally divided, on Executive Calendar #460, Stephanie Dawn Thacker, of West Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit.
    • At 5:30 PM, the Senate will conduct 2 ROLL CALL VOTES on:
      1. Executive Calendar #460, Stephanie Dawn Thacker, of West Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit; and
      2. Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 2230, the Buffett Rule bill.

  • Spoke on the Buffett Rule.
    • SUMMARY "As millions of Americans prepare to file income tax returns the Senate will consider one of the basic unfair provisions of the tax code. Today, the wealthiest 1% of the stakes home the highest share of the income since the early 20's, the roaring 20's. While their bank accounts have firestone, their tax bills have become smaller. The wealthiest Americans pay the lowest tax rate in more than five decades, the rich pay less than they have for more than 50 years. This unfair system has turned the gap between the richest few into a gulf, not a gap. They've seen their incomes SUMMARY "skyrocket" by almost 300%. For the rest of Americans they haven't kept pace with the price of a modest home, college or a secure retirement. Times are tough for many middle-class he families but millionaires and billionaires aren't sharing the pain or the sacrifices, not one bit. Last year there were 7,000 millionaires who didn't pay a single penny in federal income taxes. 7,000 millionaires didn't pay a single penny in taxes. Instead, ordinary Americans footed the bill and, that's not fair. In recent years saw Americans earning north of $110 million a year paid a lower tax rate than millions of middle-class families. That's also not fair. That's how someone like our frequent Warren Buffett ends up paying a lower tax rate than his secretary which also is not fair. When the richest few are making more than ever before, they can afford to shoulder their fair share of the burden to make this country prosper. And they shouldn't be allowed to hide behind tax loopholes that rig the system in their favor. The paying a fair share tax act known as the Buffett Rule would restore fairness to a system that has favored the interests of the wealthy far too long. This legislation would ensure Americans who make more than a million dollars a year may by the way, at least 30% of their income in taxes. The bill would hold harmless nearly every small business in America, in fact, more than 99% of small businesses would be held harmless. It would maintain the deduction for charitable giving and it would be a small but important step toward restoring fiscal responsibility as our nation makes difficult choice where to spend and what to cut."

Senator McConnell: (2:08 PM)
  • Spoke on the Buffett Rule.
    • SUMMARY "The growing bipartisan consensus not only about the existence of these problems but also about the proper solution. Just about everybody agrees that comprehensive tax reform would help turn this economy around, strengthen entitlements, spur innovation and economic growth, and create jobs. We've got a President who seems more interested in pitting people against he'll he each other than he is actually doing what it takes to face these challenges head on and to solve them in a bipartisan manner. And if anybody had any doubt about that, the President's relentless focus on this so-called Buffett tax over the past few weeks should have dispelled it. This entire debate has been very illuminating for a lot of folks. It's revealed a lot about this President. By wasting so much time on this political gimmick, hat even democrats admit won't solve our larger problems, it's shown the President is actually more interested in misleading people than he is in leading. Now, I know that it may sound a little strong to some, but just step back and think about what's going on here. We've got a $15 trillion debt, some call it the most predictable crisis in history. We have the largest tax increase in the history of the country looming that will hit every single American in less than nine months from today. Are President Obama looked at the options, sat down with his political advisories and said let's go with poll-tested tax increase on investment and job creation that won't fix anything and won't pass anyway instead of actually doing something about the debt and the deficit. And the same thing on gas prices. The President looked at $4 a gallon gasoline and said let's go with a poll-tested tax on energy manufacturers which would increase the price at the pump instead of actually doing something to solve the problem. Isn't this precisely the kind of thing President Obama campaigned against in the first place? Politics as usual. But that's all we get. The worse our problems get, the less serious he becomes. The more people coalesce around a bipartisan solution, the more he focuses on something that's completely irrelevant or that has absolutely no chance of passing. We're in a crisis here. And sadly, it's all politics all the time. Somewhere along the way, this President seems to have forgotten why he elected. For him, it's not about jobs or the economy. It's about his idea of fairness, about imposing it on others. And if we lose more jobs in the process, oh, well, so be it. Just take the Buffett tax. Any time the President proposed anything in the past, he told us how many jobs it would create. Whether it was the FAA bill, the Highway bill, the stimulus, you name it. Apparently those days are over. Nobody is even claiming this thing creates jobs. It's all about the President's idea of fairness now. Well, I think Americans are tired of the blame game. They want their President to solve problems, not point fingers. They think their President should spend his time working out a solution between the two parties instead of running around the country trying to distract people from his own ability to get the job done."