Press Releases

“We are told the president was presenting a ‘vision.’ But the Budget Act requires the submission of a budget, not a vision. If the president wishes to alter his previous budget then he should submit a plan to Congress that can be scored, reviewed, and analyzed... My fear is that the president’s ‘vision’ is to make as few cuts and as little change as possible so that he can protect and sustain big government. But that is not the vision that has made America great and that will keep it so.”

   WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, made the following comments today after President Obama’s speech on debt reduction:

“The fact that President Obama delivered this speech at all is an admission that his budget, submitted to Congress as required by law, was not a serious attempt to confront our fiscal challenges. But today’s speech was another lost opportunity. It too was not serious or credible. Once again, he failed to lead and failed to present a plan for confronting the greatest threat our nation faces. We need numbers on a page, not words on a teleprompter.

Apparently, the president chose to ignore the call of his fiscal commission co-chairs who said: ‘Going forward, anyone who issues an alternative plan to Chairman Ryan’s should be held to the same standard when offering their own solutions.’

We are told the president was presenting a ‘vision.’ But the Budget Act requires the submission of a budget, not a vision. If the president wishes to alter his previous budget then he should submit a plan to Congress that can be scored, reviewed, and analyzed.

The statutory deadline for passing a budget is this Friday. The only budget we have from the president doubles our nation’s debt and, according to CBO, produces deficits $2.7 trillion greater than if we did nothing. And we have no budget from the Democrat-led Senate. By contrast, the Republican-led House has produced the most serious, comprehensive plan we have seen in anyone’s memory to solve our long-term fiscal challenges.

While I laud the fiscal commission, I don’t believe they reduced spending nearly enough. But, in his speech today, the president failed to even set targets—let alone specific cuts—that equaled his own fiscal commission. And he pushed the time horizon out to 2023, all but ignoring the immediate need to reduce spending in order to avert a crisis his fiscal commission co-chairs said could arrive in one or two years if we continue to delay action.

We also heard the president talk about a ‘balanced’ approach that couples light spending cuts with steep tax hikes—more than $1 trillion on top of the $1.7 trillion in new taxes he already proposed in his budget. There is nothing balanced about that. Real balance means restoring the balance of power so that Washington has less and the American people have more. Instead of trying to drain every last cent of from American taxpayers, we should try to drain every last cent of waste from the federal budget.

My fear is that the president’s ‘vision’ is to make as few cuts and as little change as possible so that he can protect and sustain big government. But that is not the vision that has made America great and that will keep it so.”