McConnell Says GOP to Get Tough on Deficit Spending
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday that Republicans will focus on deficit spending over the course of the next several weeks as Democrats prepare to take on Wall Street and push their jobs agenda.
“Americans worry that we’re on the cusp or maybe even past the cusp of a debt crisis,” McConnell said on the floor after the two-week spring recess.
“We must get a handle on the deficit and the debt. This is the issue that will focus our attention in the weeks and months ahead.”
McConnell’s comments came just hours before Senators were scheduled to cast a procedural vote to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Republicans blocked the extension before the recess in part because the measure wasn’t paid for. According to McConnell’s floor remarks Monday, that message will continue during the seven-week work period leading up to Memorial Day.
“And over the coming weeks, I assure you, Republicans will continue to give our colleagues across the aisle and our president the opportunity to live up to the president’s commitment on Feb. 13: Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.'” McConnell said. “Americans will not tolerate another crisis of Washington’s making.”
The Republican leader also briefly touched on the looming Supreme Court debate. Justice John Paul Stevens announced Friday that he would retire from the court later this year. McConnell said the development “gives us another opportunity to discuss the proper role of our federal courts and our Constitution,” and suggested President Barack Obama pick a candidate with “extensive real-world legal experience.”
“That’s what Americans expect from their judges, whether it’s small claims court or the Supreme Court,” McConnell said.