Floor Updates

Reid, McConnell

Opening Remarks

Apr 17 2012

10:23 AM

Senator Reid: (10:03 AM)
  • Today --
    • The Senate will proceed to a period of Morning Business until 11:00 AM, with Senators permitted to speak up to 10 minutes each. The time will be equally divided, with the Republicans controlling the first half and the Majority controlling the second half.
    • Following Morning Business, the Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill, for up to 10 minutes of debate, equally divided.
    • Circa 11:10 AM, the Senate will conduct a ROLL CALL VOTE on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 1789, the Postal Reform bill.
    • At 12:30 PM, the Senate will recess until 2:15 PM for the weekly caucus lunches.
  • Spoke on the Buffett Rule.
    • SUMMARY "Our legislation would have protected 99% of small business owners and maintained deductions for charitable giving. And it would have been a small but meaningful step to reduce our deficit at a time when every penny in this case every billion counts. Doesn't seem radical to see me some request Warren Buffett who made almost $63 million in 2010 to pay a higher tax rate than his secretary. You can remember when he came and spoke to a group of democrats and he carried around his tax returns for the last several years. He's the one who told us how much he made in 2010 and lamented the fact that he was paying the tax rate that was. Well, it doesn't seem radical to me, it didn't seem radical to Ronald Reagan, and it doesn't seem radical to three quarters of the American people. The wealthiest Americans take home a greater percentage of the nation's income than any time in nearly a century yet they enjoy the lowest tax rate in more than five decades. The lowest tax rate. So it's no surprise Americans believe millionaires should shoulder their fair share. Even two-thirds of millionaires and a majority of Republicans around the country agree it's time to fix the system rigged to favor the richest of the rich. Republicans in congress aren't the only ones that are on board on this issue. If you need evident that millionaires and billionaires can afford to contribute a little more, consider this fact, this simple fact: last year there were 7,000 people who made more than a million dollars last year but didn't pay a single penny of federal income tax. Not a penny. Thanks to Republicans, these lucky millionaires can keep gaming the system while middle-class workers keep picking up the tab."

Senator McConnell: (10:09 AM)
  • Spoke on the Buffett Rule.
    • SUMMARY "President Obama only seems to care about Warren Buffett's opinion if it polls well. The President's goal isn't to do something about the problem, it's to make people think he's doing something about the problem until the next crisis comes along. And that's the larger problem. That we've got a President more concerned about looking like he's doing something than in actually doing what's needed to tackle the challenges we face. We've got a President who told us he was a different kind of politician doing is same old things and using the same old talking points politicians in Washington have been peddling for literally years. Weren't these kinds of gimmicks and stale talking points precisely the kind of thing President Obama campaigned against four years ago? I thought he was offering something new. Something different. I think the Associated Press summed up the President's latest proposal pretty well this morning. The White House plan which Obama was to unveil Tuesday the AP said is more likely to draw sharp election-year distinctions with republicans than to have an immediate effect on prices at the pump. AP pretty well summed it up. They said it's more about drawing a distinction. Look, we don't need new distinctions. We need solutions. Americans need lawmakers who are more concerned about with facing up to the problems we face than getting re-elected. They need a President who thinks about solving a problem, a president who thinks solving a problem involves more than giving a speech about it and pointing the finger at whatever doesn't poll well that particular day. As if said yesterday, the president seems to have forgotten why he was elected in the first place. He seems to have forgotten his own campaign rhetoric. That he was going to be different, that he would bridge differences, that he would bring people together. The reality couldn't be more different. Or more disappointing. The sad truth is, it's all politics, all the time in this White House They're out of ideas, they've got nothing new to offer. Today's announcement is all the proof you need of that."