U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee, issued a joint statement today after sending a letter to President Obama about his refusal, for the fourth year in a row, to submit a legislative plan responding to the funding warning from the Medicare Trustees--despite a clear legal requirement to do so.
The statement from Sessions and Ryan follows:
"Within fifteen days of presenting his budget plan, the president is required by law to send a legislative proposal to Congress to address Medicare's looming insolvency. For four straight years, this "Medicare trigger' has been issued. And for four straight years, President Obama has ignored the alarm and fled his post. America's debt, as measured by the International Monetary Fund, is now worse than Greece on a per capita basis. The course President Obama has laid out leads to fiscal ruin. His budget plan raises taxes by $2 trillion, increases the debt by $11 trillion, and increases spending by $1.6 trillion.
The president's unserious approach to Medicare will have serious consequences for seniors. President Obama continues to ignore his legal and moral obligations to protect the health security of America's seniors. While he refuses to advance credible solutions to strengthen Medicare, the president's health care law does great harm to this critical program--raiding Medicare by over $500 billion to fund a new open-ended entitlement, while leaving the fate of seniors' care to a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington. There is a growing bipartisan consensus on how best to preserve the Medicare guarantee, but the president won't join this discussion. The president is required by law to respond to the Medicare Trustees' annual warning, and--as a matter of fundamental leadership--is duty-bound to do so.
Meanwhile, the Democratic leaders in the Senate refuse to bring a budget plan to the floor for the third straight year. The livelihoods, savings, and futures of millions of hardworking Americans are at stake, but the president and his party's leaders can't even be bothered to fulfill their most basic obligations in a time of crisis."