U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement tonight after the budget plan authored by Chairman Patty Murray and the Senate Democrats failed to garner majority support, but was approved by a vote of 50 to 49:
"The content of the plan the majority has now approved demonstrates why they were unwilling to reveal it for so long: their proposal, once accurately understood, cannot be publicly defended.
Honest people can disagree on policy. But where there can be no honest disagreement is the need to change our nation's debt course. The singular truth that no one can escape is that the House budget changes our debt course while the Senate budget does not. The Senate budget increases taxes, increases spending, and adds $7.3 trillion to our debt. It has zero real deficit reduction.
Most significantly, it never balances. Republicans gave Senate Democrats chance after chance to balance the budget. But they refused. They have declared to the whole nation their refusal to balance the federal budget.
The massive debt we have racked up to finance our wasteful government is pulling down growth today. Gross debt over 90 percent of GDP weakens growth now. Not tomorrow--now.
In other words, the more money we borrow to mail out government checks, the more and more people there are that will need government checks. This is why we can no longer define compassion as borrow-and-spend. Our goal should be to help more Americans find jobs, better wages, and to achieve financial independence. Is that not a better goal with a superior moral foundation?
It is time that we pointed out that the establishment the Senate majority is shielding from cuts--the big-government apparatus they are determined to defend at all costs--is hurting people every day. Look at Washington, D.C. No city in America relies more on the federal government than Washington. Despite this fountain of federal funds, one in three children still live in poverty in our nation's capital. Two in three children live in single parent homes.
The Senate majority is saying nothing is wrong with our government programs. They are saying the problem lies with the people. You haven't sent enough money; please send more. There is nothing virtuous about defending a broken welfare state that is trapping millions of Americans in poverty. Every time our colleagues raise taxes--instead of reforming the government--they are enriching the bureaucracy at the expense of the people.
Now that the Senate majority has written a plan we can finally begin this conversation: Do we balance the budget and grow the economy for all Americans? Or do we continue to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people?"