McConnell demands Dems allow GOP 'jobs-related' amendments

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged Democrats to allow Republican amendments to several bills the Senate will be considering in the coming weeks.

“While Senate Democrats dust-off the same poll-tested ideas for papering over the symptoms of malaise, Republicans are proposing concrete ideas aimed at igniting the economy and giving people real hope for something more, something better than what they’ve been getting for the last five years — something that speaks to their hopes and potential,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

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The Senate is currently working on a five-month extension of long-term unemployment benefits, but no GOP amendments are likely. Senate passage is expected later this week, but Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he won’t allow a House vote because the measure doesn’t include Republican measures.

Later this month, the Senate is also expected to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act to address pay inequality between men and women, and a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

After McConnell spoke, Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said raising the minimum wage was the least the Senate could do to help the working and middle class.

“We ought to have respect for people who work in this country,” Durbin said. “Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 is our way of showing respect.”

McConnell said raising the minimum wage was treating the symptoms rather than curing the disease and that’s why Republicans plan to offer amendments.

“We’ll be proposing numerous jobs-related amendments that have one unifying purpose: and that’s to break through the stagnation of the Obama economy and kick domestic job creation into high gear,” McConnell said. “Our approach is simple: Let’s give free enterprise and private initiative a chance.”

McConnell said Republicans would offer amendments that would repeal parts of ObamaCare, approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and stop EPA regulations.

“These are just a few of the many proposals Republican senators will be putting forward this week,” McConnell said. “They represent the kind of solutions our country needs right now to finally emerge from this awful economy.”

Democrats have made wealth inequality a major campaign theme for November's midterm elections. McConnell accused them of holding "party-pleasing show votes."

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