Press Releases

“After my staff and I have had additional time to analyze the summary, even more questions and concerns have arisen. Serious flaws have been identified.… The production of the Gang’s summary at the last minute also underscores my severe concerns over how this process has unfolded… Senate Democrats and the White House have fiercely resisted formulating an actual debt plan at every step of the way. Instead, the president has pushed for secret meetings—avoiding the public accountability of putting a plan to paper—followed by press conferences at which he asserts his support for broad deficit reduction even when no such plan has been written. The real bluff from the president is the idea that a White House deficit reduction plan exists. It’s time for the White House to lay its cards on the table."

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement today after conducting further review of the budget proposal summary language provided by the “Gang of Six”:

“After months of their meeting and working, I had sincerely hoped the Gang of Six would come forward with an actual legislative proposal. Unfortunately, we have only vague language and talking points that create more questions than answers.

The debt ceiling deadline is in two weeks, and it takes substantial time to put a 10-year budget plan into statutory language and for the Congressional Budget Office to perform an analysis. It would be irresponsible for us to try to rush through such a complex package without time for meaningful review. Indeed, after my staff and I have had additional time to analyze the summary, even more questions and concerns have arisen. Serious flaws have been identified. A preliminary assessment is being released with this statement.

The production of the Gang?s summary at the last minute also underscores my grave concerns over how this process has unfolded. The Republican-led House has fulfilled

its responsibilities. The Republican-led House passed a budget more than three months ago. The Democrat-led Senate, by contrast, has refused to pass a budget in 812 days, and refused to make one public this year. If they had presented a budget in public, in the open, we wouldn't be in the situation we are in right now. The president presented a budget in February, meanwhile, that would have added a stunning $13 trillion to our debt. That remains the only plan he has ever put on paper.

Senate Democrats and the White House have fiercely resisted formulating an actual debt plan at every step of the way. Instead, the president has pushed for secret meetings—avoiding the public accountability of putting a plan to paper—followed by press conferences at which he asserts his support for broad deficit reduction even when no such plan has been written. The real bluff from the president is the idea that a White House deficit reduction plan exists. It?s time for the White House to lay its cards on the table.

I?ve introduced legislation requiring seven days to review any legislation increasing the debt limit. This is the bare minimum amount of time necessary for meaningful public process and review. But the White House's refusal to engage this debate in an open, public way has created the very real risk that no text will be available until the last minute.

At the end of the day, the debt ceiling is only the beginning of this fight. The White House will never agree to a debt limit bill with the level of spending cuts necessary to bring our budget into balance and to unburden the private sector. With forty-six trillion in projected spending over the next 10 years, we have a lot of work ahead—work that ought to be conducted in the open and before the public.”

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