Transcript: Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions calls Obama’s budget “deeply troubling”
Remarks by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Obama’s 2013 budget at a press briefing on Feb. 13, 2012:
“The budget submitted by President of the United States is more than just a document that has lines and expenditures in it. A budget represents that vision that the President has for the future of America. In this case, it will be 10 years. But as Mr. [Ben] Bernanke told us a few days ago in the Budget Committee, that you really need to be looking beyond the 10-year window – that’s an artificial window, particularly when you’re dealing with systemic problems like our entitlement programs that are growing so rapidly.
“I believe the American people are entitled to the truth and must have an honest budget – a budget that clearly lays out the challenges that we face – and we do face challenges – and how the chief executive would expect to meet those challenges.
“I can’t imagine our Governor in Alabama – Gov. [Robert] Bentley – not seizing the opportunity to produce a budget that allows him to explain how he’s going to meet the challenges we have. Or Gov. [Chris] Christie or Gov. [Jerry] Brown in California or Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo in New York. These are matters that executives have to lead on.
“And this is the fourth year of this President’s term in office, and this is his final opportunity to lay out a coherent vision for how this country ought to meet the challenges that we are facing financially.
“Remember, his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. [Mike] Mullen, said that debt is the greatest threat to our national security.
“Just this morning on MSNBC, Richard Haass, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations showed film of Greece. He said this could be the United States next year.
“And Erskine Bowles when he testified before the Budget Committee last year said that we are facing a debt crisis and it could happen as early as two years, and we are in that second year now.
“So this is not a little big matter. It’s not something that’s just our normal dog and pony show around Congress. It reflects the challenges that we face.
“Now, I would just say a couple of things about it.
“Under the pronouncements that we’re hearing from the White House, this budget reduces our deficit by $4 trillion. That is absolutely untrue. It doesn’t reduce the deficit at all virtually. And it’s just a stunning thing. Even I saw a tagline on CNN this morning that it would reduce spending by $4 trillion. Give me a break. It increases spending $1.5 trillion. It increases taxes $2 trillion almost – $1.9 trillion.
“And his own budget, the total debt that he projects in the document that he’s given to us would increase by $11.2 trillion over 10 years. That’s how much the debt would increase – $11.2 trillion.
“Whereas the Budget Control Act that we passed last year and that the President basically agreed to although resisted spending [reductions] aggressively, that over 10 years scores as $11.5 trillion in increase in the deficit. So the President’s budget does not save $4 trillion. It does not save $1 trillion. It does not save a third of $1 trillion. According to the best estimates we can come up with, it’s about under $300 billion of debt that it would save over 10 years.
“So basically, there’s no change on our debt course. And it’s a deeply troubling thing to me – and I deeply believe that it’s a matter that should be discussed.
“And we’ve now gone four years without anything occurring that would get us off the dangerous debt course that we’re on except that this President during his tenure in office has added $6.3 trillion to the gross debt of the United States.”
- Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) website
- C-Span.org: Video of Senate Republicans’ response to President Obama’s 2013 budget
- Transcript: Republican Sen. Jeff Barrasso says Obama’s budget is ‘debt on arrival’
- Transcript: Republican Sen. Roy Blunt demands Senate vote on Obama budget
- Transcript: Republican Sen. John Cornyn deems Obama’s budget as ‘completely unacceptable’
- Transcript: Republican Sen. Bob Corker decries leadership ‘deficit’ in Obama’s 2013 budget
- Transcript: Republican Sen. David Vitter to propose bill amendments to force Senate budget vote
- Transcript: Republican Sen. Ron Johnson asks why Obama is even seeking a second term?
- Transcript: Republican Sen. Rob Portman calls Obama’s budget a ‘political document’
- Transcript: Press briefing Q&A with GOP Senators on Obama’s budget