Press Releases

“Chairman Conrad’s stunning announcement, forced on him by his party, is a defining moment in 2012 and a national embarrassment for a Senate majority that is unable to meet the great challenge of our time.”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today in response to Chairman Kent Conrad’s announcement about the Committee’s planned budget mark-up: 

“Chairman Conrad’s stunning announcement, forced on him by his party, is a defining moment in 2012 and a national embarrassment for a Senate majority that is unable to meet the great challenge of our time.

It’s been 1,084 days since the last time the Senate’s Democrat majority passed a budget plan, despite a simple majority threshold for passage. Our nation has never needed a budget more, and, as a party, Senate Democrats haven’t produced a plan for three years or conducted a committee mark-up for two. Today Chairman Conrad announced that the promised mark-up was effectively being cancelled—there will only be opening statements, no amendments or votes—following an apparent uprising from the Senate Democrat Conference that remains unwilling and unable to work on a budget plan. They have forfeited their claim on leadership. Majority Leader Reid’s unflinching decree that the Senate will not pass a budget reveals a party in Washington incapable of addressing the colossal spending and debt that threatens our nation with decline.

It is clear that, in addition to being unable and unwilling to publicly defend a plan of any kind, Senate Democrats also did not want to conduct a mark-up because they would have been compelled to cast votes on and defend the president’s fiscally ruinous health law that they supported, as well as the widespread taxpayer abuse and waste exemplified by the GSA. As for Chairman Conrad’s plan, it is easy to understand why Senate Democrats don’t want to vote on it, even in committee: it contains $2.6 trillion in tax increases ($600 billion more than the president’s plan), it contains not one penny of spending cuts, and it produces $8.2 trillion in new gross debt. It is one more-tax-and-spend plan, like the president’s budget. Never in recent memory has a majority party in Washington been more inadequate to meet the great challenge of our time than Senate Democrats now leading this chamber.”