By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Until early morning Saturday it had been over four since since the Senate passed a budget. While both of Alabama’s Senators were critical of the Democrat controlled U.S. Senate’s disinterest in the budgeting process they were equally unimpressed by the budget that passed on Saturday.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R) from Alabama said, “It has been 1,423 days since the Senate passed a budget. My constituents waited that long for this? There is little wonder that trepidation over our nation’s future is so prevalent. No dominant power in world history has remained strong with a weak economy. Not the Persians, not the Greeks, not the Romans, not the British – not anyone. Under the Democrat budget, our nation would learn that lesson the hard way.”
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama said, “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.”
Sen. Shelby said on the floor of the Senate, “I rise today to once again express my concerns about the fiscal problems facing our nation. Thus far this year, I have held public meetings in 61 of my state’s 67 counties. Without exception, my constituents’ top concern is our nation’s unsustainable debt and its effect on job creation and economic growth. “Alabamians know that federal debt currently stands at nearly 17 trillion dollars. Yet they see that the Democrat budget before us does not balance – not in ten years…not ever. They know that federal debt has increased by six trillion dollars under President Obama. Yet they see that the Democrat budget proposes to pile on seven trillion more. My constituents know that excessive taxes are choking job creation in this country. Yet they see that the Democrat budget calls for 1.5 trillion dollars of new job killing taxes. They know that the Democrats’ stimulus package was an abject failure. Yet they see that the Democrat budget provides 100 billion in new stimulus spending. My constituents understand that the more we borrow, the more we must pay in interest. Yet they see that under the Democrat budget, we will pay more in interest on the debt – 791 billion – than we will spend on national defense. And they know that fiscal reform without entitlement reform is meaningless. Yet they hear no mention of entitlements in the Democrat budget.”
Sen. Sessions said, “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.”
The Republican controlled House of Representatives has also passed a budget; but the two plans are wildly different. The White House is required to submit a budget each year and then the Congress decides what changes they want to make to his budget. The Obama White House usually submits a late budget that no one in Congress (of either party) supports. This year their budget still isn’t finished.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is the Vice Chairman on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Sessions is the ranking Republican member of the Senate Budget Committee.