Floor Updates

Senator Alexander: (9:43 AM)
  • Spoke on the broken Senate.
    • SUMMARY "Some say the reason for a do-nothing Senate - or the cure for it is we need a cal change in rules. I say we need a change in behavior. I would like to offer a single example. We have a big borrowing problem. We're headed off a fiscal cliff. The minority leader has described that. The Australian foreign minister has said that the United States of America is one budget deal away from restoring its global preeminence, so he would think we would have a bugged and then you would think we would deal with the appropriations bills, which are the basic work of the Senate. I and others on both sides of the aisle came to the floor earlier this year to compliment the majority and minority leader for their decision to bring all 12 appropriations bills to the floor. The committee did its work. 11 of the 12 have been reported to the floor. The house did its work. But the majority leader said we're not going to consider any appropriations bills. Being elected to the Senate and not being allowed to vote on appropriations bills is like being invited to join the grand ole opera and not be allowed to sing. We need a Republican majority. If we had one, we could have a budget. If we had one, we will bring appropriations bills to the floor."

Senator Thune: (9:44 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "There is no question that the premier issue for most Americans is jobs and the economy. It is the issue on the minds of all Americans, their pocketbook issues that impact middle-class Americans all across the country. For the past three and a half years, the president and the Democrats here in the Senate have failed to ... The leadership that America needs to ... To face a bleak economic picture on this president's watch. We have seen gas prices more than double, the highest level in September that we have ever seen in the month of September. Middle-class income is down by nearly $4,000 since the president took office. Just this last week, the Kaiser Foundation family study came out and worker health insurance costs have increased by 29% since the president took office. The president promised to lower health care costs by $2,500 per family. Instead, average family premiums have increased by $3,000 since he took office. Republicans have solutions to grow the economy and to help the middle class, strengthen the middle class. We support common sense solutions like increasing domestic energy, reforming our tax code and stopping the job-killing regulations that are killing our small businesses. We hope to have the opportunity to work on those solutions for America's future."

Senator Enzi: (9:46 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "The president, the administration and the Senate majority have failed to govern during a crucial time for our nation. There is a willingness to kick our problems down the road with the hopes that the next election will suddenly inspire action. Rome burned while fiddled. We have had enough fiddling. The president's answer to jobs in the economy was to have his failed budget. Three times it was voted on without a single vote in favor, not even a single Democrat in favor. Over 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Government regulations and red tape stunt business growth. That's not leadership. That's being asleep at the wheel. Their answer to a job - to jobs is a bill with a good title and a poison pill that comes right to the floor, and it's set up so the poison pill can't be amended out and they wonder why the bill can't pass. That's not politics. That's legislating. Lack of a budget shows they don't have a plan. Inaction remains the status quo. Republicans are prepared to lead today and in the future."

Senator Collins: (9:47 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "When I talk to employers in my state about what Washington could do to get people back to work, they inevitably point to the flood of excessive regulation as a major barrier. Many of us have offered proposals to reform the regulatory process. Even the president's own jobs council has put forth ideas like strengthening the cost-benefit analysis. This just makes common sense. But regrettably, the Senate has failed to act. Meanwhile, the burden of federal regulation grows ever larger. Right now, federal agencies are at work on 2,700 new rules. These rules will go on top of a pile of regulations measuring millions of pages. If we want to put people back to work, we have to cut the red tape that is strangling our job creators."

Senator Boozman: (9:48 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "If you look at any objective measurement, whether it's unemployment numbers, gas prices, middle-class income, college tuition, manufacturing production, home values, and the list goes on and on, we are clearly not headed in the right direction. So what's the cause of this? The primary cause is lack of leadership coming from the administration and from the leadership in the Senate. The administration's policies have led to the worst recovery since World War II. Over 23 million people are unemployed, underemployed. One of the main reasons that we can't find work in this is the economic uncertainty Washington has created, stopping the hiring process. Our businesses are frozen. As a former small business owner, I understand firsthand how economic uncertainty hampers business growth. If you don't know what your taxes are going to be, if you don't know what your energy costs are going to be, if you don't know what your health care costs are going to be, the last thing in the world you're going to do is hire a bunch of people."

Senator Blunt: (9:49 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "The number-one job of this congress domestically should have been more private sector jobs. The president's long-held view of redistribution as a goal for the government is not going to accomplish that. What's going to accomplish that is more opportunity, more independence, as my friend from Arkansas just said, more certainty, more American energy. These problems are big, but they're not necessarily that complicated. We just have to have the willpower to deal with them. This congress has not done that. This Senate, more importantly, has not done that. The house has passed bills. The house has passed a budget, the house has passed appropriations bills, the house has passed bills to get regulations under control. The Senate hasn't. I hope when we get back here - we should stay and do those things, but when we get back, we should be focused on the number-one job for the one today, which is more American jobs."

Senator DeMint: (9:50 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "President Obama, when you took office almost four years ago, you promised to create jobs and to reduce our deficit. Yet, four years later, we have fewer Americans working than in the last 30 years and we have historic debt and deficits. Now you say raising taxes will solve our problems, but those who create jobs disagree. Yesterday, a businessman from South Carolina came to Washington to present a very simple proposition. He had built this business from his garage to 150 workers, putting every dime he could back into his business. His plan was to add 25 workers next year if we keep taxes the same, but to do nothing if we follow your plan to raise taxes. If you really want to create jobs, help our economy and reduce our deficit, stop threatening to raise taxes."

Senator Portman: (9:51 AM)
  • Spoke on jobs and the economy.
    • SUMMARY "We just heard from a number of my colleagues about issues with our jobs and the economy, the debt, unemployment at high rates for 43 months, unprecedented problems. We have learned time and time again in America, you can't tax, regulate your way to prosperity. And Republicans in the Senate have provided an alternative. This is the Republican Senate jobs plan. All 47 Republican senators have supported it. We have introduced legislation that incorporates these ideas. And yet we haven't gotten a hearing on the Senate floor. Pretty simple. We believe that we ought to live within our means, fiscal discipline is part of getting the economy back on track, reforming the tax code to spur economic growth. We know we can create millions of new jobs in this country by getting the tax code straightened out. Economics - the economic situation will not be improved in this country until we deal with regulatory relief. My colleagues have talked about that. A more competitive work force. Changing the worker retraining program in this country, improving education to have a competitiveness work force. Increasing exports to create more jobs but also to level the playing field. Powering America's economy by using the energy in the ground in America. And finally, commonsense approaches to health care to get the costs down. These are the solutions that Republicans have offered that have not gotten a fair hearing on this floor for us to begin to turn this economy around and get America back on track."

Senator Hatch: (9:53 AM)
  • Spoke on the fiscal cliff.
    • SUMMARY "Today I join my colleagues in expressing my disappointment in President Obama in his failure to provide real leadership when our nation needed it most. While failures can be observed across the board when it comes to taxes and the pending fiscal cliff, the president has put our future in jeopardy to conserve his own political interests. At the end of this year, the bipartisan tax relief bill signed into law, not only by President Bush but President Obama as well, is set to expire. Virtually every taxpayer in America will see their taxes go up if congress and the president do not extend - do not act to steer us away from this fiscal cliff. Objective analysts, including the CBO, have stated that if we were to let the tax relief expire under current economic conditions, it would likely lead to another recession. Yet, rather than working with the Republicans to extend the tax relief and to aid our recovery, the president has once again sought to divide the American people by using the top marginal tax rate as a political football. In 2010, the president acknowledged that raising taxes in the midst of a weak economic recovery was bad policy. That is why at that time he signed into law full extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief. Aside from the fact that the economy is in worse shape now than it was then, the only thing that's changed between 2010 and 2012 is that the president is now facing the voters, and that means appealing to his base which is committed to raising taxes. The president has put class warfare and his own political future ahead of the immediate and long-term interests of our economy. This is the high-water mark of failed leadership for this administration. Our country is at a moment of deep economic uncertainty, and America's citizens and taxpayers deserve more than the president's decision to prioritize electoral politics over sound fiscal policy."

Senator Sessions: (9:55 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "As the chair of the debt commission Simpson-Bowles told the Budget Committee, this nation has never faced a more predictable financial crisis. I would say that this nation has never faced a more difficult financial challenge. We have deep systemic demographic problems. They need to be addressed. Yet today marks the 1,240th day since the Democratic leadership in the Senate adopted a budget. For three years in a time of financial crisis, the Senate's Democratic majority has failed to comply with the United States code that requires us to bring up a budget and bring it to the floor of the united states Senate. Politico observed on may 15 the Democratic leaders have defiantly refused to lay out their own vision for how to deal with the federal debt and spending. I believe that is a colossal failure of leadership, a failure of fundamental responsibility and puts them in a position of, in my opinion, of being unable to ask to be returned to leadership in this Senate."

Senator Cornyn: (9:56 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "As the distinguished ranking member of the Budget Committee pointed out, it has been more than three years since the Democratically controlled Senate has passed a budget. That should be a national scandal. During the same time, we considered the president's proposed budgets which have been voted down unanimously, that is Republicans and Democrats both realize that the president's proposed budgets are unserious attempts to solve some of our most serious challenges. The president couldn't get a single vote from his own political party for his own plan, a plan because it does not include serious efforts to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare and put us on a sound fiscal path without job-killing tax increases. When Republicans regain the majority in the Senate, we will pass a budget, we will reduce the deficit, we will tackle our long-term debt and we will help grow the American economy by getting our boot off the neck of the small businesses and job creators in our country."

Senator Corker: (9:57 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "This year we will spend over $3.5 trillion, 60% of which is taxpayer money, 40% is borrowed. Over the next 10 years, we will spend $45 trillion. We haven't had a budget in this body for 1,240 days. Not only is this dysfunctional and America looks at us as a dysfunctional body, it is an embarrassment. The fact is that we are one fiscal reform package away from being able to focus on being a great nation again, and yet many around the world look at us as a nation in decline, which affects everything from people hiring and producing jobs in this country to the activities that we see overseas as it relates to our foreign relations. What we need in this nation is new leadership in November that has the courage and the will to address the most major issue this nation faces, which is fiscal reform, and with that, we'll put this malaise in the rearview mirror and again be able to focus on being a great nation."

Senator Isakson: (9:58 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "For three consecutive fiscal years, the leadership of the United States Senate majority party has constantly decided not to bring a budget to the floor of the United States Senate. And do you know what the result has been? We spent $10.6 trillion, increased our debt over $4 trillion while the American people have cut their debt, cut their spending and got their house in order during our worst recession since the great depression. it's time the leadership of the Senate took a lesson from the American people. Let's get back to the business of America. Let's get a budget to the floor. Let's balance our budget."

Senator Johanns: (9:59 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "Think about it, $5 trillion of new debt under this president. So when he submits a budget plan, what happens to it? On the floor of this Senate, the president's budget plan did not get a single vote. No Republican, no Democrat, no independent supported the president. What happened on the house side? The same identical thing. No Republican, no Democrat, no independent supported the president's plan. Many are working on this. Simpson-Bowles is a good example. Many of my colleagues have been working to find a way forward on our budget issues. And what happens on the floor of the Senate? No budget. Four years, no budget. When Republicans come to the majority we will pass a budget. We will work to balance our budget. That is where we are headed."

Senator Johnson-WI: (10:00 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "Last year with the debt ceiling debate, we increased our debt limit by a little more than $2 trillion. We will blow through that limit in less than two years. Mr. President, the president of the United States has put forward four budgets. He has yet to submit any proposal to save either Social Security or Medicare. We're facing the most predictable financial crisis in our nation, and our president refuses to lead, this Senate refuses to lead. America hungers for leadership."

Senator Lee: (10:00 AM)
  • Spoke on the budget.
    • SUMMARY "This is bad enough that this Senate leadership has not passed a budget in three and a half years. What's even worse than that is the fact that they haven't offered a budget this congress. They haven't voted for or supported a single budget in this congress. We have had, of course, one budget voted on in the Senate during this congress, written by a Democrat. That was the president's plan, which received zero votes from his own party, zero votes from the Republican party last year and this year. If we are able to come to the table, if we are to come to a compromise, we have to have offers on both sides. We have to have a plan on both sides. And so all the calls for civility, for the calls for compromise really fall on deaf ears unless or until we have two willing parties at the table with proposals that they're willing to offer."