Senate Fails Crucial Test, Sessions Says, After Democrats Block Spending Cuts
“The president and his party leaders still don’t get it. If they think we can now proceed to some meager compromise, they are gravely mistaken. This Congress must deliver whatthe situation demands… One way or another, we are going to reduce spending andrestore prosperity. The fight goes on.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, made the following comments today after the Senate failed to pass a bill to lower discretionary spending for the remainder of this fiscal year. A proposal offered by Republicans would have cut $57 billion, following a $4 billion reduction over the last two weeks, for a total of $61 billion.
“America’s crushing debt burden stifles job growth and threatens our economy with a severe debt crisis. And as the president’s own Fiscal Commission co-chairs warned us yesterday, such an event would be “the most predictable economic crisis in [our] history.” That’s why we must take significant action now. Our choice as a nation is whether we remain on the road to decline, or whether we change course and get on the road to prosperity.
Today was a crucial test for the Senate—are we going to do something about this threat or not? Are we going to keep heading for the cliff or steer away? The Senate failed the test. Democrat leaders chose to respond to the growing danger by doing nothing. That’s right: nothing. Just nothing.
The Republican proposal to immediately lower spending by $61 billion is a key first step in the right direction. An initial cut of $61 billion is easy to absorb and yet would save $862 billion over the next ten years—with dramatically more savings if these lower spending levels are sustained.
The conventional wisdom in Washington is that we can’t find substantial savings in our discretionary budget, but like so much of what is said inside the bubble this is simply not so. It is a convenient myth that spares lawmakers from having to restrain their indulgent spending.
Democrats’ stunningly inadequate counter-measure was a proposal to cut only $4.6 billion dollars from a bloated discretionary budget that has increased year after year after year. The president and his party leaders still don’t get it. If they think we can now proceed to some meager compromise, they are gravely mistaken. This Congress must deliver what the situation demands.
But the American people get it. And if Washington doesn’t change direction, then the American people will change the direction of Washington. One way or another, we are going to reduce spending and restore prosperity. The fight goes on.”
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