McConnell to Obama: Stop 'celebrating' election win, get to work on fiscal cliff

"The election's over. He won; congratulations. We've got a hard deadline here, however, and he's still out on the campaign trail, kind of celebrating."

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McConnell said one idea Republicans want to raise in the context of the fiscal-cliff talks is entitlement reform. But he said this discussion is impossible so far, given the Democratic position, and said Democrats have exhibited a "scandalous lack of leadership" on entitlement reform.

"When it comes to entitlements, Republicans are guided by a simple principle: we don't want Americans to age into a system that no longer exists," McConnell said. "But we can't do it alone. Reform is something than can only be done by both parties together."

One example of the Democratic position on entitlements, McConnell said, is the administration's response to annual warnings that Medicare is relying on the Treasury Department for more than 45 percent of its funds. U.S. law requires Medicare to issue a warning when this level is breached, as it has been since 2007, and requires the administration to release a plan for fixing the problem.

But McConnell said that while President George W. Bush released plans, Obama has not. "This president has ignored the warnings every year he's been in office," he said. "Every year."

McConnell also spent some time Wednesday morning revisiting this week's ongoing debate about possible Democratic plans to prevent filibusters on motions to proceed to bills, and to require filibusters to be carried out by an actual member speaking on the Senate floor.

McConnell fought with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the issue on Monday and Tuesday. Reid said on those days that Democrats are considering the changes to counter an endless stream of Republican filibusters, which Reid says shows an unwillingness on the part of Republicans to work with Democrats.

On Wednesday, McConnell said GOP opposition to many bills has been due to the way Democratic leaders put them together, without allowing any input from Republicans or even many Democrats.

"Now, our friend the majority leader cavalierly dismisses this unprecedented blocking of senators of both parties from offering amendments," McConnell said. "He said this behavior has 'no bearing' on what's going on around here.

"Well, maybe in his mind it doesn't. But that's a pretty convenient and, frankly, self-serving attitude coming from the one who's picking amendments."

Republicans have charged that Democrats are scheming to make changes to the filibuster rule by a simple majority vote, which the GOP is calling the "nuclear option" because it goes against the tradition of requiring a two-thirds majority vote for rule changes.

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