By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions was the only Republican from the Alabama Congressional Delegation to vote for package of the highly controversial Biden-McConnell fiscal cliff compromise package. Senator Sessions is the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and has long been viewed as a budget hawk by Senate watchers.
Senator Sessions said in a written statement, “This legislation is necessary to prevent a large and painful tax increase from falling on the vast majority of Americans. Its enactment will end a long period of uncertainty that would weaken or even reverse economic growth. Now, it is important that we place our focus directly on the real cause of our nation’s looming debt crisis: the continued surge in spending.”
Senator Shelby said in his own written statement: “I do not support this agreement. Our economy needs spending restraint by the federal government and fundamental tax reform that eliminates corporate welfare and lowers individuals’ rates. Instead, this package raises taxes, increases spending, and will lead to more borrowing. This deal is certainly no cure-all; rather, it falls far short of the measures necessary to promote job creation, economic growth, and fiscal stability.”
Alabama’s senior Senator stood with Republican Senators Rand Paul from Kentucky, Marco Rubio from Florida, Chuck Grassley from Iowa, and Mike Lee from Utah in opposing the bill which passed in the Senate easily 89 to 8. Three Senate Democrats: Michael Bennett from Colorado, Tom Harkin from Iowa and Tom Carper from Delaware also opposed the bipartisan measure.
Senator Shelby told Fox News that the U.S. was following down the road that Europe was already on. Shelby said that we were on a dangerous pattern of spending and borrowing and that we needed to do something about entitlements and tax reform. Shelby said, “I would have liked to see a grand bargain. And I believe you never know — if we would have held out, maybe it would have done something. The pressure was building on the president to do something. He certainly doesn’t want us to go into recession. But we need fundamental tax reform. We need to reform our entitlements. We need to look at the spending ledger.” Shelby said that he was proud of the Republicans in the House of Representatives who, “understood what this was” and predicted that once, “they had a chance to reflect on it … the ones that voted for it, I think they will rue the day.”