Hire More Heroes Act of 2013 -- Motion to Proceed -- Continued

Floor Speech


Mr. McCONNELL. Many years ago, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge called the Senate ``the most powerful single chamber in any legislative body in the world.''

Imagine making that kind of statement about today's Senate. Instead of a strong, independent voice at the vanguard of American policymaking, what has the Democratic-run Senate become? It has become a campaign studio, a late-night punch line, the place where the far left gets its way and the middle class gets left behind.

We saw this again yesterday when the majority leader was so determined to prevent the consideration of Republican amendments that he killed every Democratic Senator's amendment in the process. He didn't seem to care about letting the more than 4 million people in my State have a say on one of the most important issues affecting their livelihoods--coal. He didn't seem to think the millions of Americans represented by his own Democrats deserved a meaningful say on energy either.

Even after Senate Democrats from States such as Alaska, Maine, Colorado, and Arkansas put out press releases touting the kinds of ideas contained within their amendments, no amendments were allowed.

The fact that some of these same Senators are now trying to convince others of how moderate and influential they are, it is ridiculous. By backing the majority leader's power play instead of standing up for their constituents, they show where their loyalties lie.

Let's remember. The majority leader apparently thought the American people didn't deserve a say on energy, at a time when many in the middle class are struggling with high energy bills, a lack of jobs, and stagnant wages, the kinds of things that could be helped with smarter energy policy. He also blocked this debate at a time of growing global energy crises that demand American leadership.

Moments such as those were when our country used to come together in the Senate, when we used to have a serious discussion and actually pass serious legislation to solve serious problems, but not today, not in the Senate anymore. Today it is a place where the majority leader seems to deliver a daily monologue about almost anything but jobs, where Democrats obstruct serious ideas and where they have shut down meaningful debate on so many major issues.

Think back to last week when Senate Democrats declared that addressing global warming was the moral crusade of our time and then refused to even debate or consider legislative measures to actually address it or when the American people were calling out for us to pass jobs legislation and Senate Democrats put forward legislation that could actually cost up to 1 million jobs, all while they continued to block serious, House-passed job-creation bills.

Meanwhile, Washington Democrats' repeated attempts to pass the buck on gridlock are now bordering on absolute farce, just a complete farce. Last week we saw a fact-checker from a major leftwing paper debunk one of their favorite talking points about filibusters, giving it the highest possible rating for dishonesty.

The charges that have been made about Republican filibusters were given the highest rating for dishonesty by a left-leaning newspaper. This is what the fact-checker said: ``On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous.'' This is the fact-checker for a left-leaning newspaper responding to these daily charges about Republican filibusters: ``On just about every level, this claim is ridiculous.''

So let's be clear. It is time for Senate Democrats to look in the mirror. Under Democratic rule, the Senate has become the place where serious legislation comes to die, the graveyard for good ideas. That is the main reason President Obama wants so badly to keep his Senate majority this November. It is his castle moat--the moat around the castle--the last thing standing between him and signing the serious legislation the middle class deserves but the far left hates. It is his buffer against having to approve things such as Keystone Pipeline.

The Keystone Pipeline is a project almost everyone knows will create thousands of good jobs at a time when we need them very badly. It is a project the American people support overwhelmingly, but of course the far left hates it, and the far left controls today's Washington Democratic Party.

I will tell you one thing the far left does like, though--seeing headlines such as this last week from the AP: ``Democratic Leader Blocks Senate Vote On Keystone.'' This is the President's majority leader they are talking about. Both he and they are hoping to keep their Senate majority this November so they can see even more headlines similar to that one.

The American people are going to have their say. In the meantime, it is time for the majority leader to start worrying about today's Senate. The American people are tired of waiting for this body to act on the jobs bills Senate Democrats continue to blockade. They are tired of all the show votes.

Our constituents already know the Senate Democratic agenda for the rest of the year was drafted by campaign staffers anyway. They would have been able to figure that out even if our Democratic friends hadn't just said it; that the agenda was drafted over at the Democratic senatorial committee. But enough is enough. The American people sent us to the Senate to do something about jobs and address the issues that actually matter to their daily lives. It is time the Democrats, who run the Senate, drop the diversions and finally work with us to do so.

I yield the floor.