(Senate - October 13, 2011)

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[Page S6474]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, we also need to focus on jobs. It is one of 
the most important things we can do--I believe the most important we 
can do. I am sorry that this week my Republican colleagues proved once 
again that the only jobs they care about are their own. They voted 
against a plan to create 2 million Americans jobs because they believed 
it was good Republican politics.
  Meanwhile, 14 million unemployed Americans are worried about how they 
are going to make their rent, put food on the table, and fill their gas 
tank or how they are going to get another job interview.
  These 14 million Americans could care less who proposed the plan or 
who gets credit to get them back to work. What they care about is that 
Congress gets to work putting them back to work.
  Asked whether they support a plan to ask millionaires to pay their 
fair share to pay for tax cuts for middle-class families and small 
businesses, construction of roads and schools, and an extension of 
unemployment benefits, Americans have overwhelmingly said, yes, they 
support it.
  The reason they do that is because, as we see in the newspaper 
articles around the country, the news stories: ``A quarter of U.S. 
millionaires pay taxes at a lower rate than some in middle class.'' It 
is about a 17-percent average. That is untoward.
  Two-thirds of Americans support both the plan the Republicans blocked 
this week and the way it is paid for. Yet still, Republicans 
unanimously voted against these tax cuts, infrastructure investments, 
and jobs for teachers, police officers, and veterans. They voted, I 
repeat, against 2 million jobs for American workers.
  My Republican colleagues pay lip service to the unemployment crisis 
in the country, but in the end actions speak louder than words.
  As Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, the first African-American woman to 
be elected from the Deep South to Congress, once said:

       The citizens of America expect more. They deserve and they 
     want more than a recital of problems.

  The American people demand action. They deserve it. I hope my 
Republican colleagues would have a plan to create jobs, other than the 
constant talk about let's get rid of regulations, let's lower taxes.
  Let's work together to create jobs. If my friends do not like what 
the President put forward, come forward with something that is 
constructive in nature. As Barbara Jordan said:

       The citizens of America expect more. They deserve and they 
     want more than a recital of problems.

  We can all recite the problems. There are lots of them. But let's 
work together to create some jobs.
  I was happy to hear from some of my Republican colleagues that they 
want to work together to create jobs. I told one of the Senators: 
Wonderful. Grab any one of the Democrats; they will work with you to 
help create these jobs. We need to do something. We do not need to 
continue to recite the problems. Please get off of this, I say to my 
Republican friends, about lowering taxes as a way to create jobs. If 
that, in fact, were the case, the Bush tax cuts would have put this 
country on an economic machine that could never have been driven so 
fast. But it did not help.
  Eight million jobs were lost during the Bush years with these tax 
cuts. During the Clinton years, 23 million jobs were created. Let's 
stop the constant cry: We need to lower taxes. None of us are in favor 
of raising taxes. But certainly we need a fair tax distribution, and 
that is why the American people are agreeing with us.
  We are willing to work on regulations. There are too many of them. We 
all agree with that. But let's look specifically at what creates jobs.
  One of the big issues we fought about last week was farm dust. OK. 
Farm dust. EPA does not regulate farm dust. They do not want to 
regulate farm dust. These are all just, as in the grocery business, 
loss leaders. It is only a way to confuse the American people. I 
repeat, EPA does not regulate farm dust. They do not want to regulate 
farm dust. Let's start talking about that which creates jobs, that 
which puts people back to work.
  We are going to continue to do everything we can not to let the 
American people down. We will not stop working to pass the proposals 
contained in the American Jobs Act just because Republicans have used 
every obstructionist trick in the book to stop it from moving forward. 
We will continue to ask the richest Americans to share the burden of 
getting our economy back on track, and we will never give up in the 
fight to create jobs for the 14 million people in this country who are 
out of work.
  Remember, the American Jobs Act reduces taxes for everybody, except 
those who make more than $1 million a year.