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Sessions says President has “Continually Flouted Budget Law”

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama released a statement saying that the biggest mistake that President Obama has made as President is adding $5 trillion to the national debt and proposing new spending which would raise the debt $11 trillion by 2022, while ignoring existing budget laws.

Senator Sessions said, ““President Obama indicated recently that the biggest mistake of his first term was not spending more time delivering his message. Respectfully, I think a much bigger mistake was adding $5 trillion to the debt and then producing a budget plan this year that would add another $11 trillion to the debt through 2022. Making matters worse, the law requires the President to submit a budget update to Congress—known as the Mid-Session Review—before July 16th. It appears the deadline will be breached.   If produced, the Mid-Session Review would underscore that, despite the President’s assertion that his proposed tax increase would reduce the debt, any revenue from the tax hike would just be used for new spending—not deficit reduction.”

Sen. Sessions continued, “Sadly, despite the enormous debt threat facing our nation, the President and his Senate majority have continually flouted budget law. The President has ignored, every year he’s been in office, the legal requirement to submit a plan to prevent Medicare’s looming insolvency (known as the ‘Medicare trigger’). And his majority in the Senate has refused to pass a budget plan for three consecutive years, failing to even bring a proposal to the Senate floor.”

Senator Jefferson “Jeff” Beauregard Sessions III is the ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate budget committee.

Sen. Sessions said, “Congress and the American people have never had greater need for concrete budget proposals, and the President should seize this as an opportunity to provide them. This is particularly critical as Congress is facing a key continuing resolution, another debt ceiling debate, the fiscal cliff, and an economy performing well below expectations. Given the historic depth of these financial challenges, the Administration must submit their budget update on time and in the manner the law requires. Failure to do so would only further damage the President’s credibility on the great challenge confronting our nation.”

To prove his point Sen. Sessions provided the actual wording of the law he referenced:  “(b) Before July 16 of each year, the President shall submit to Congress a statement of changes in budget authority requested, estimated budget outlays, and estimated receipts for the fiscal year for which the budget is submitted (including prior changes proposed for the executive branch of the Government) that the President decides are necessary and appropriate based on current information…”

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Of course President Barack Obama knows that the House Republicans have no desire to impeach or sue a sitting President in an election year and the Democrat controlled Senate would not vote to remove him anyway so if he fails to meet the deadline in the statute.  President Obama has vigorously exerted and maximized presidential authority in the past for example when he unilaterally changed immigration law without congressional approval or unilaterally imposed new greenhouse gas regulations.  Both measures previously had been rejected by the Congress.  The President has much higher approval numbers than the Congress has and is like to benefit politically from any confrontation with the U.S. House of Representatives.

On a wide bipartisan basis both the House and the Senate have rejected President Obama’s proposed budget.  The U.S. House of Representatives has passed their own budget proposal; but the Senate is unlikely to pass that or their own budget because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) from Nevada does not want his Senators to have to go on the record either raising taxes or cutting spending and does not feel that a budget is either required or is necessary.

The national debt number used by most sources is $15,877 billion.  Sen. Sessions’ office estimates that the national debt is actually $15,943 billion.  The federal budget deficit is $1.3 trillion.  The federal government is spending $3.6 trillion a year.

Sen. Sessions was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996.

To see the national debt numbers:

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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