Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) pressed Obama Budget Director Shaun Donovan on whether the president’s new budget proposal would increase spending beyond the levels set by Congress — during a fiery exchange in which the Alabamian charged the administration’s policies have harmed the middle class.
“Your policies: tax more, spend more, borrow more, regulate more, Obamacare more and an immigration policy that dominates the market with workers from abroad when we don’t have enough jobs for Americans, pulling down wages for Americans,” Sessions said to Donovan during a Tuesday Budget Committee hearing. “That’s what’s caused this problem.”
“We’ve got a problem, but your ideas will not work. They will never work,” he emphasized.
Sessions argued that “reckless spending” is putting the nation in peril and homed in on whether Obama’s budget would comply with the Budget Control Act. Reports indicate that Obama’s budget would spend about $74 billion above the caps Congress put in place in 2011.
Donovan would not directly answer the question.
“I just asked a simple question. You work for the taxpayers, Mr. Donovan,” Sessions said, raising his voice. “I’m asking you on their behalf, does your budget spend more money next year than the current law of the Budget Control Act allows?”
Donovan again dodged.
“Overall our budget reduces spending compared to current law,” he said.
When Sessions brought the $74 billion increase to Donovan’s attention, the budget director argued that the senator was overly focused on discretionary spending.
Donovan would not agree to offer a yes or no response.
“We propose to lift the sequestration caps which have been harmful to our military readiness, that have been harmful to economic growth. We more than fully pay for those with reductions in spending on the mandatory side and reducing wasteful spending in the tax code.”
Sessions pressed Donovan on why he would not say the 2016 budget increases spending beyond the caps when it does.
“So you won’t give the American people — for whom you work — a simple answer to that question,” Sessions concluded.