Hero of the last minute bipartisan fiscal package, good cop to Vice President Joe Biden’s bad cop, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is insistent that he is sick and tired of being called in to bridge differences between the parties at the buzzer. Enough is enough.
This time around, as the nation slowly creeps towards a confluence of self-created fiscal crises (expiration of the continuing resolution funding the government, sequestration, reaching the federal debt limit) the Kentucky Republican would like to “get back to regular order and that takes time. And that’s why we need to get started, right now.”
He took to the floor today to remind anyone within earshot that “Republicans have done their part. The budgets passed by House Republicans over the past couple of years contain fresh ideas that would help solve our fiscal crisis.”
The onus, according to the leader, is now on the Democrats.
McConnell joined the chorus of Republicans in both chambers pointing out that “President Obama and congressional Democrats still have yet to offer a serious plan to address the economic challenges we face. They’ve been content to wage political war instead.”
And don’t get the man started about tax increases – revenue generators that Democrats have been insistent on must be included in any budget grand bargain that impacts entitlements such as Social Security or Medicare.
“Let’s not waste time with more pointless arguments about tax increases, we had that debate already – it’s done – it’s over.”
Senate openers are opportunities for both party leaders to try new lines of attack and political rhetoric outlining legislative priorities.
This morning was no different, as the Republican leader closed his speech by reminding those on the other side of the aisle that it’s time to move on from political gamesmanship.
Acknowledging the new faces joining the majority in the Senate, McConnell congratulated the other party, saying, “Democrats were reelected and I congratulate them, it’s time now to get serious about actually governing.”