WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today in support of S.J. Res. 10, the Republican balanced budget proposal, and expressing concern over provisions in the Democrat counter-measure (S.J. Res. 24):
“Washington has both a moral and economic responsibility to balance the budget. Morally, we have a duty to spend taxpayer dollars wisely and to protect, for our children, the integrity of the United States Treasury. Economically, we know that excessive levels of debt are pulling down growth today and could lead to a Greece-like debt crisis tomorrow that would devastate the middle class.
Unfortunately, as history proves, Washington lacks the discipline to balance the budget voluntarily. A constitutional amendment is needed. The Republican proposal, which I cosponsored, is the sound approach: it mandates that we spend only what we have and, by establishing a two-thirds vote for raising taxes, finally forces Washington to be accountable for how it spends taxpayers dollars. We should not take more from the private sector to bail out wasteful spending in the public sector.
The Democrat alternative lacks these protections for hardworking taxpayers. It creates the possibility that unelected judges would, contrary to constitutional order, enter judgment to take more money from American citizens if Congress fails to control spending. The amendment would also prevent Congress from adopting fiscal reforms that combine lower taxes with reduced spending. And it creates a loophole for entitlement spending that will spare Congress from making needed fiscal reforms.
President Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Instead, we have had three consecutive deficits in excess of $1 trillion, and are faced with a fourth this year. After years of broken promises in Washington, it’s time to force discipline on Congress and the White House and adopt a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.”