WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement tonight announcing his opposition to shutting off debate on the appropriations package, which combined three separate spending bills:
“The package of spending bills before the Senate this week is proof positive that Washington spending remains out of control. Total spending in these three bills will be four percent higher—or $9.4 billion—than last year. We have to have real spending reductions, not increases. This unwillingness to confront our deficit shatters economic confidence and undermines economic recovery. It must stop.
For instance, this bill would quadruple the food stamp budget from what it was ten years ago, and triple it from what it was just three years ago. Food stamp spending will make up 55 percent of the Department of Agriculture’s total spending this year. We owe to the taxpayers to make sure every dollar they send to Washington is being wisely spent. But food stamp spending has been terribly mishandled, misused, and misdirected. In some cases, to get benefits, all you have to do is receive a government brochure in the mail—regardless of your financial eligibility.
I also remain deeply concerned that only a fraction of those amendments filed are able to receive a vote. Appropriations bills should come to the floor, one at a time, and be subject to extensive amendment and debate. This chamber is not living up to its core obligations or the traditions of the Senate. To have three or four amendments to each multi-billion-dollar spending bill is clearly insufficient.
Senate Democrats haven’t even presented a budget plan in 904 days. Americans are right not to trust Washington. They deserve an honest, open, and accountable budget process. I oppose cloture so that we can improve this bill and commit to these principles.”