Citing Past Bipartisan Accomplishments, Cornyn Urges Democrats to Drop Obstructionism

In: All News   Posted 02/16/2017

‘The 114th Congress, after the 2014 election, saw a new majority, a new Republican leadership. And we did our best to help restore order to this Chamber and get it working again after years of dysfunction.’

‘We need to return to the pattern we established in the last Congress to work together, to build consensus, to help make America stronger, our citizens safer, and our laws of better service to all the people.’

WASHINGTON – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) contrasted the bipartisan accomplishments of last Congress with the current obstructionism from Senate Democrats. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video of his remarks can be found here

“For the past several weeks now, we've come to the floor to talk about the slow pace at which the Senate has considered and voted on the President's nominees for his Cabinet. Well, there's good reason for that because one of our roles is to consider and vote on advisors selected by the President, regardless of political party, and to help this new Administration lead the country.”

“We continue to slog along at the slowest pace since George Washington to vote on nominees to the President's Cabinet. The reason it's gone on so slowly is clear by now. It's because our friends across the aisle are still upset and have not yet reconciled themselves with the results of the election.”

“And, yes, they're being encouraged by the radical elements of their Party who don't want us to fulfill our responsibilities, who don't want a new President to have the Cabinet that he needs in order to govern the country. Yes, there are some who want to halt our work in this Chamber and perpetuate dysfunction. They don't want us to focus on legislating because they want to keep us tied up in the confirmation process.”

“The fact of the matter is, the country needs a functioning Senate.”

“I hope our colleagues across the aisle will understand soon that if they want to be effective, if they want to actually move the needle and help those who've entrusted them with the future of this country, then we need to turn from gridlock to action. Last Congress, even under President Obama in the White House, we did not let partisan dysfunction keep us from working together.”

“The 114th Congress, after the 2014 election, saw a new majority, a new Republican leadership. And we did our best to help restore order to this Chamber and get it working again after years of dysfunction.”

“We voted on legislative ideas from both sides of the aisle—more than 250 roll-call votes. That represented a sea change from the previous Administration and the way Senator Reid ran things. Well, we were able to get the Senate functioning as the Founders intended, and that led to big results for the American people.”

“That was the first time we had been able to pass a long-term highway bill in about 30 different, separate attempts.”

“We also made great progress reforming our public education system by passing, again, on a bipartisan basis, the Every Student Succeeds Act.”

“We also made great headway in making our country safer and our government more just by taking up and passing legislation to support victims of abuse and violence and to craft laws that better equip our law enforcement to handle growing threats.”

“We passed bipartisan legislation to combat opioid abuse and heroin addiction, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. We passed laws to make our government more transparent so it's more accountable to the public and voters. We helped capitalize on our god-given natural resources by lifting the crude oil export ban.”

“It's one thing to fight hard in an election and try to win the election so you can gain the privilege of actually being in the majority or having the White House. But after the election is over with, our responsibilities shift to governing. And right now, our friends across the aisle are continuing to obstruct, and drag their feet, and make it impossible for the President to get the Cabinet he needs in order to get the government up and running. So we need to return to the pattern we established in the last Congress to work together, to build consensus, to help make America stronger, our citizens safer, and our laws of better service to all the people.”

“I would hope our colleagues across the aisle would remember those lessons they learned in the 2014 election that dysfunction is bad politics. It does not help their political cause.”