Negotiator-in-Chief By: Michael A. Minton

Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican Senator who has been in the U.S. Senate since 1984, wears many hats in his capacity as the Senate Minority Leader. His committee assignments include:

Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Appropriations
Armed Services
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Budget
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Energy and Natural Resources
Environment and Public Works
Finance
Foreign Relations
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Judiciary
Rules and Administration
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Veterans’ Affairs

Special, Select, and Other
Indian Affairs
Select Committee on Ethics
Select Committee on Intelligence
Special Committee on Aging

Joint
Joint Committee on Printing
Joint Committee on Taxation
Joint Committee on the Library
Joint Economic Committee  

Last Monday, June 27, President Obama invited Sen. McConnell to the White House to wear yet another hat: Negotiator-in-Chief. The President wants to increase the debt ceiling to keep the country from allegedly defaulting on its debts. 

However, in a press release from Sen. McConnell’s office, McConnell said, “I will make a request of my own: What, Mr. President, are you prepared to do about the massive deficits and debt that have grown dramatically on your watch?” 

Sen. McConnell wants to ensure that the United States doesn’t end up in this predicament again, calling for a guarantee that the President will not raise taxes nor try to pass another stimulus package. 

To make his point on these issues, the Senator said, “At some point, Democrats need to realize that the reason our nation’s debt has skyrocketed 35% over the past two years is that government spending is out of control. 

“America does not face a debt crisis because we tax too little, but becauseWashingtonspends too much. And tax hikes can’t pass the Congress. Not only is there bipartisan opposition, the consequences of massive new tax hikes would be fewer jobs.”

In terms of the idea of another stimulus, McConnell said, “The $830 billion stimulus bill is just one example. When Democrats passed it, they made two predictions: first, that it would keep unemployment below 8%, and second, that it was a one-time cash infusion meant to prevent a wider crisis. Two years later, unemployment hovers above 9%, and Democrats now demand that we add new stimulus funding. Their commitment to spending and tax hikes is so deeply held, it seems, that they don’t even recognize what terrible shape our economy is in and the fact that tax and spend policies of the past two years have made it worse.

“Nor do they seem to recognize that the voters are asking for a different approach. Americans didn’t elect dozens of additional Republicans to the House of Representatives last November because they wanted their taxes raised. They sent them here to reverse the runaway spending policies that failed.”

I did call the Senator’s office inWashington, hoping to at least speak to his spokesman, Robert Steurer, as I had interviewed the Senator during the 2008 election. However, I was told to email him my questions, which I did. There were 10 specific questions which I really would have liked to have answered.

As it turned out, however, Mr. Steurer emailed me back and, although politely, refused to answer my questions and instead referred me to the Senator’s press releases. Regardless, from reading the press releases, it would appear that the Senator is prepared to raise the debt ceiling as long as his conditions are met.

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About Mike's Bullitts

I call it "Mike's Bullitts" because I am from a small Kentucky county by the name of Bullitt. And, of course, my name is Mike. You can also catch my radio show at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mikesbullitts/2012/02/29/the-mike-minton-show
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