WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following comment today in response to the announcement by Senate Democrats that a budget markup will be indefinitely “deferred”:
“I appreciate that Senator Conrad has recognized the serious concerns that I, my Republican colleagues, and millions of Americans have over the decision of the Democrat-led Senate to not pass a budget in the last 750 days, to not present a budget at all this year, and to not even allow the budget process to go forward. However, today’s announcement does not ease my concern nor, I would imagine, the concern now felt by people throughout this country. It seems Senate Democrats are desperately trying to avoid having to present a budget to the American people. They know that the big spenders in their caucus prevent them from bringing forward a credible plan that both their party and the country can support.
First, Senate Democrats offered the excuse that they were waiting for the ‘Gang of Six.’ Now we are told they are waiting on the Biden talks. But there is no reason to believe the Biden talks will be any more successful than the Gang of Six. What if they don’t reach a deal—or what if that deal proves insufficient? Today’s announcement is just another excuse for delay—delay with no end in sight.
Nothing can change the fact that as long as Democrats retain the majority in the Senate—the majority they asked the American people to confer upon them—it is their responsibility, as required by statute, to publicly present their budget to the American people. A budget is a vision, a plan for this nation’s future, and the American people have a right to know what that vision is. Once produced, the budget must be available for amendment, debate, and floor action as provided by law.
Senator Reid may wish to shield his members from tough votes that expose their unwillingness to cut spending or their eagerness to raise taxes. But that strategy will not hold. The public will be mobilized. Sooner or later every Senator will have to stand and be counted.”