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McConnell: Time For Obama To End Fiscal Cliff Impasse Caused By Radical Left

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the need for the President to present a serious plan to prevent automatic tax hikes that could devastate our nation’s fragile economy:

“As most Americans know by now, the next few weeks are critically important in the life of our nation. Unless the President leads and Congress acts, a combination of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts will go into effect that could have a devastating effect on our national defense and on an already painfully-slow economy. What’s more, the nation’s finances are teetering on the edge, threatening even greater hardship for millions, unless we bring federal spending in balance.

“The question is, what are we going to do about all this? How do we face up to the fiscal irresponsibility and can-kicking that got us here, and finally do what’s right?

“Well, I don’t think it’s a secret that for our part, Republicans have shown a clear willingness to make tough choices in order to find a solution to the trillion-dollar deficits of the last four years.

“We’ve been open to revenue by closing loopholes, as long as it’s tied to spending cuts and pro-growth tax reform that broadens the base and lowers rates. This is the model laid out by the Bowles-Simpson commission, and it’s a model both parties should step forward and embrace.

“Without compromising our principles, we’ve put skin in the game in recognition of the fact that while Democrats don’t run this town, neither do we. We’ve been reasonable, even as we’ve remained firm on this point: no tax increases now for promised spending cuts that won’t materialize later. The American people have seen that game before. They won’t be fooled again.

“The only balanced approach is one that includes real and lasting reforms. So Republicans have stepped out of our comfort zone. We’ve been clear about what we’ll do and what we won’t. And yet we remain at an impasse.

“Why? Because a vocal minority on the hard-left continues to argue to the leaders of their party — from the President on down — that Democrats in Washington should do absolutely nothing about short-term or long-term spending problems.

“This is the Thelma and Louise crowd, the ones who dream about higher taxes and the bigger government it will pay for, regardless of the impact on jobs or the economy or America’s standing in the world.

“These are the ones who recklessly ignore the fact that we can’t keep running trillion dollar deficits every year and throw a tantrum if somebody suggests that maybe the taxpayers shouldn’t keep subsidizing every last program Washington ever dreamed up.

“Their reckless and ideological approach threatens our future. And anyone who’s serious about solving the problems we face should ignore it, starting with the President.

“The election is over, but the economic and fiscal problems of the past several years have only gotten worse. It’s time for the President to present a plan that rises above these reckless and radical voices on the hard-Left, that goes beyond the talking points of the campaign trail, and that has a realistic chance of passing the Congress. The time for campaigning is over.

“It’s time for the President to lead.

“A little over a week ago, I attended a meeting with the President down at the White House; it was positive and productive, and afterward I was confident that all sides are eager to figure out a solution to the present challenges that respects our respective principles. But as I have said repeatedly, the only person in America who can really make or break it is the President; he’s the only one who can lead his party to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do, to do what’s needed now. And that’s why he’s the one who has to present a plan for success.

“So we’ll continue to wait on the President, and hope that he has what it takes to bring people together to forge a compromise. If he does, we’ll get there. If he doesn’t, we won’t. It’s that simple.”

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