McConnell: Taxes, debt, won’t end recession

‘And let's be clear about something: you cannot end a recession by digging the country into deeper and deeper debt any more than you can pay off a credit card by using it more often. And you can't tax your way out of a recession’

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Wednesday regarding the omnibus spending bill:

“Yesterday we had votes on a handful of amendments which were aimed at reducing the overall size of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Many of us who are concerned about the spending binge we've been on thought it would be responsible to bring it back in line with the appropriations bills we passed last year — before the economic crisis.

“As the Junior Senator from Indiana put it this morning in an insightful Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, this bill was drafted last year, and ‘Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically which is why’ — as he put it — ‘the Senate should go back to the drawing board. The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same.’

“I’d like to submit this article, in which Senator Bayh calls on his colleagues to vote against the Omnibus or for the President to veto it, into the record.

“Today, Republicans are going to continue bringing up our amendments — amendments that we think are better and more responsible ways to use the taxpayer’s money today.

“Unfortunately, it’s become increasingly clear that most of our Democrat colleagues here in Congress — Senator Bayh notwithstanding — are perfectly comfortable with the breathtaking rate of spending we’ve been on since the beginning of the year. They want it to continue, without restraint and without any end in sight.

“Amazingly, in the midst of an economic crisis, Congressional Democrats want to increase the annual spending included in this Omnibus by 8%, which, compared to last year, is twice the rate of inflation.

“At a time when Americans are learning to cut back, Democrats in Congress are suggesting we double up. As Senator Bayh put it in the same Op-Ed: ‘The bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November's election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters' mandate.’

“Nobody wants an open-ended recession. But so far the only solution to the economic crisis that Democrats in Congress are offering is open-ended spending without any end in sight. And let's be clear about something: you cannot end a recession by digging the country into deeper and deeper debt any more than you can pay off a credit card by using it more often. And you can't tax your way out of a recession.

“February was an expensive month for American taxpayers. In the month of February, Congress spent more money than we did in seven years on the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan and Hurricane Katrina relief — combined.

“All of this spending is reason to carefully consider and pare back this massive spending bill – particularly in these areas which contain funding for 122 programs which were already funded in the stimulus bill.

“Remarkably, even Senator Hutchison’s amendment, which sought to find $12 billion, or just 1%, in duplicative spending from two bills totaling $1.2 trillion, was struck down.

“I hope our friends across the aisle will join Republican efforts to ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent with care, and support amendments to protect taxpayer dollars.

“This current spending bill is only one step in the spending process. It doesn’t include the President’s budget, the housing proposal, or untold trillions to stabilize financial markets and other programs

“Our children and grandchildren can’t afford this level of spending. And they will be the ones left to pay off the federal government credit card that Democrats in Congress are busy maxing out.”