Senate Democrats Block McConnell Gas Price Relief Amendment

‘We should have an opportunity to ask senators where they stand. Do they believe, as I do, that gas prices are high enough already? Or do they believe, as the sponsors of this bill do, that gas prices should rise even higher? What are they afraid of?’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to offer an amendment to the Boxer Climate Tax bill on Thursday to ensure that the bill does not increase the price of gas at the pump. After Democrats blocked his attempt to offer the amendment, McConnell delivered the following remarks (as prepared) on the Senate floor:

“I’m very disappointed the Majority has objected to allowing me to get this amendment pending.

“Earlier today the Assistant Majority Leader said we should be voting on amendments. I couldn’t agree more.

“In a week in which gas prices have climbed to an all-time high, the Democrat Majority in the Senate is pushing legislation that would send them up another fifty-three cents a gallon.

“Since the Democrats took over Congress 17 months ago, gas prices have gone up $1.66 a gallon.

“Since the beginning of this year alone, gas prices have gone up nearly a dollar (82 cents).

“Just today, AAA reported a new record high average gas price nationwide of $3.99.

“All of this is hurting families, workers, truckers, farmers. It’s hurting everyone.

“Yet the Majority has nothing to say about it. It’s done nothing. Actually, worse than nothing.

“It’s repeatedly blocked efforts to increase production of American energy here at home — as recently as last month, when 48 Democrat senators voted against the American Energy Production Act.

“And now, at the beginning of the summer driving season, it offers a bill that would send up gas prices another 53 cents a gallon.

“The people in Kentucky are paying on average $3.92 a gallon this week. They want to know what in the world is going on around here. I’m telling them to look at what’s going on here this week.

“I’m asking the same question they are: Why on earth are we considering a bill that would raise gas prices even higher than they already are?

“Our friends on the other side have no serious plan for lowering gas prices. Indeed, they seem intent on raising them even higher.

“Which is why I have tried offering this amendment, as a sort of ‘emergency brake’ on the Majority.

“This amendment says that if the Boxer Climate Tax Bill does, in fact, increase gas prices, its provisions shall be suspended. Just turn them off. Take a time out.

“Earlier this week, the Junior Senator from Connecticut said the Boxer Bill would reduce gas prices.

“His contention runs counter to every analysis of the bill I am aware of. But if he’s right, then he may want to support this amendment.

“If the Junior Senator from Connecticut is right, then my amendment would not have any effect on the cap-and-trade system outlined in this bill.

“If he’s wrong, my amendment will protect those who are suffering today from the high price of gas.

“We should have an opportunity to ask senators where they stand.

“Do they believe, as I do, that gas prices are high enough already? Or do they believe, as the sponsors of this bill do, that gas prices should rise even higher?

“What are they afraid of?

“Let’s see where people stand on what is by far the most important issue to the American people today.”