By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama suggested that the Democratic leadership of the Senate were refusing to pass a budget because they were protecting the President’s highly controversial healthcare plan, which gradually seizes control of a sixth of the American economy. Sen. Sessions said that if the Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) from Nevada and the other Democratic Party Senators “passed a motion to proceed to a budget, it would open fifty hours of public amendment and debate.” Presumably much of that debate would be directed at the President’s costly Patient Affordability and Protection Act (commonly known as Obamacare). Sen. Sessions said, “This is a prospect they (the Democrats) are determined to avoid.”
Sen. Sessions said, “The Senate is required to report a budget out of committee by April 1st and adopt it by April 15th. The House has completed an open, public markup of a budget in committee and will soon hold a vote on the House floor. By contrast, with the April 1st legal deadline this Sunday—and the Senate about to enter a two-week recess—Senate Democrats have yet to even put forward a budget in committee.” Senator Sessions insists that the law requires that the Senate Budget Committee submit a budget by April 1 (Sunday) and that the whole body of the Senate pass a budget by April 15th. Sen. Reid meanwhile refuses to accept that interpretation and has described preparing a budget for the country as “foolish.”
Sen. Sessions continued: “A major reason for Senate Democrat leaders’ desperation to avoid passing a budget is to avoid casting votes on the president’s health law—a law that will cost $2.6 trillion for ten years of implementation, not the promised $900 billion. If they passed a motion to proceed to a budget, it would open fifty hours of public amendment and debate. This is a prospect they are determined to avoid.”
“As President Obama once said, a budget serves as ‘an economic blueprint for this nation’s future.’ Where is the blueprint from the party given the high honor of leading this Chamber?,” Sen. Sessions asked.
For the second year in a row, the House of Representatives has passed their version of the budget and the U.S. Senate has rejected the President’s budget unanimously. It is unlikely that the Senate will pass the House budget and it seems likely that the Senate will not act on the budget for the third year in a row. The Senate will soon adjourn on a two week spring recess.
The national debt is $15.6 trillion and interest on the debt has passed $200 billion. Last week the U.S> Supreme Court heard arguments in a lawsuit brought by Alabama and 26 other states that is challenging Obamacare. The key issue before the Supreme Court was whether or not the Constitution allowed Congress to pass a law forcing all individual American citizens to purchase health insurance. The state of Alabama and the other plaintiffs argued that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution reserves that power to the states or the individual and that President Obama and the then Democrat controlled Congress were usurping powers forbidden to them by the Constitution.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.
To read Senator Sessions statement in its entirety: