UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 4
(Senate - January 08, 2014)

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From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

  Mr. McCONNELL. Yesterday the majority leader rejected my offer for 
both sides to offer amendments to the unemployment insurance bill--the 
way things used to work around here; we had a bill called up, and we 
had amendments. This is, sadly, typical of the way things are these 
days in this institution. If the majority leader just accepted my 
offer, we could actually be debating and amending this bill instead of 
wasting time. How does the majority leader expect to achieve consensus 
when one side doesn't have the chance to offer any input at all? That 
is the way the Senate used to operate.
  Look. If the majority leader wants this bill to pass the Senate, then 
there is a very good likelihood he is going to have to find a way to 
pay for it. I will be offering one idea on that front; that is, paying 
for a longer extension by dropping the mandate that forces Americans to 
buy insurance they don't want. But if they don't like that idea, there 
are others. One is a bipartisan idea endorsed by the President that 
ensures individuals can't draw both Social Security disability benefits 
and unemployment benefits at the same time. Senators Coburn and Portman 
both have versions of that. There is another plan offered by Senator 
Ayotte that would cut down on fraud in refundable tax credits. There 
are plans for job creation that will be offered by Senators Paul, 
Thune, and Inhofe.
  These plans take a different approach than the government-led one we 
see from our Democratic friends. They rely on unlocking the potential 
of the private sector to actually increase employment. Why don't we 
have a vote on them in the Senate? I am sure there are many Democratic 
ideas out there as well, but we won't get the chance to debate any of 
them as long as the majority leader keeps blocking us from offering 
  This obstructionism by the Democratic majority is against the 
traditions of this body, and it needs to end because if Democrats truly 
want to get anything done this year, they are going to have to learn 
how to work with us.
  I yield the floor.