Sessions: White House Must End Its Violation Of Federal Medicare Law

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Committee’s oversight of Jack Lew’s role in the Administration’s defiance of Medicare law, as well as other controversies surrounding his nomination:

“Jack Lew must never be Treasury Secretary. As director of the Office of Management and Budget, he submitted to Congress two spend-and-debt budget plans which not only received zero votes but which would have threatened the financial future of the Republic. To elevate him to the premier financial post in the country would be wrong—and it would represent a clear danger to our economy and to the working people of this country. Moreover, Mr. Lew’s comments in 2011 when presenting that budget plan are alone disqualifying. He made a series of false representations to Congress and to the American people in a deliberate effort to deceive. The man charged with safeguarding the Treasury of the United States cannot be someone who has so thoroughly ruined his own credibility. We must have a person who, when speaking of America’s financial condition, will be totally candid.

Mr. Lew was also at OMB when the Administration violated federal law with respect to the so-called Medicare Trigger. In order to properly review this nomination, Congress must have detailed information about Mr. Lew’s complicity in the violation of federal law, as well as a legislative proposal that would bring the Administration into compliance and take Medicare off its course to disaster. Our Treasury Secretary cannot be a man who, for nearly three years, contributed to the violation of a law designed to protect our nation’s seniors.

As these and other matters are explored, including his enriching time at Citigroup, I believe Mr. Lew will have a difficult confirmation.”

[NOTE: Despite the Administration’s suggestion that the President’s health law resolved Medicare’s funding shortfall, the program’s trustees have continued to issue funding warnings every year since that law was passed.]