Incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) says it’d be smart for congressional Republicans to oppose any long-term omnibus spending bill in the lame duck session of Congress that begins this week. Sessions says that’s because voters nationwide removed Democrats from power, so outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shouldn’t get to “bind” the nation’s fiscal policies after such a resounding election.
“Sen. Reid shouldn’t be entitled to bind the country next year when we get a new Congress so I think that would be smart for a whole lot of reasons,” Sessions said in a conversation with reporters, according to The Hill. Sessions thinks this would give Republicans the best shot possible at blocking funding for implementation of President Barack Obama’s planned executive amnesty.
“He argues a short-term funding bill, rather than an omnibus spending bill that would run through September 2015, would better position Republicans to block Obama [on immigration],” The Hill’s Rebecca Shabad wrote.
Sessions had just finished delivering a lengthy speech about the budget to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. Sessions, who is currently the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, will chair that committee in the next Congress with its GOP majority.
In the speech, Sessions called for economic populism—a direction he has been pushing the Republican Party in for a long time.
“The social and economic center of American life is not Washington, or Wall Street, or Martha’s Vineyard. The social and economic center of American life is, and must be, among the everyday working people,” Sessions said in the speech. “The time has come for a humble and honest populism—not the cheap demagoguery of political operatives, but a sincere devotion to the legitimate needs and desires of the American people. A billionaire activist has just one vote—a vote no greater than that of the truck driver or the plumber.”
Sessions laid out his economic strategy that he says will help “transition millions of struggling Americans into good-paying jobs,” all without adding more to the national debt.
The key planks of the strategy include producing more domestic energy, making the nation’s tax code “more competitive,” cutting back on government regulations “that drive up costs and send jobs overseas,” turning welfare offices into employment offices, fighting back when other nations don’t follow trade agreements with the U.S., repealing Obamacare, balancing the budget and — most importantly — enforcing America’s immigration laws in a way “that tightens the labor market and helps wages go up, not down.”
“One of the economic challenges we face now is the combination of high joblessness, low wages, and a shrinking middle class,” Sessions said. “This is a social, economic, and human disaster. We want all people to see their futures better.”
Sessions compared current American economic hardship to what existed in the days of Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Warren Harding, who led the country from 1921 until 1929.
“The Harding-Coolidge Administrations faced similar economic conditions,” Sessions said. “There had been a great wave of immigration in the four decades leading up to their administration. This substantial increase in the labor pool had created a loose labor market that tilted the balance of power to large employers over everyday workers. Increases in the labor supply reduce the price of labor. Coolidge believed it was rational and sensible to swing the pendulum back towards the average wage-earning American.”