Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) tore into the congressional budget deal on the Senate floor, arguing it is being jammed through without sufficient acknowledgment of its serious flaws.
“Once again, a massive deal, crafted behind closed doors, is being rushed through Congress under a threat of panic,” he said. “The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 serves as a reminder that the most important and controversial legislation is still being drafted in secret, with little or no input from the members of this chamber.”
Pointing to what he called “bricks of truth,” Sessions argued his opposition to the bill, calling for more time to consider the legislation and urging that it not be hastily passed.
“At its core, this deal with President Obama provides what President Obama has demanded throughout,” Sessions, a former budget committee chairman, said.
Namely, he pointed to the increase in federal spending caps for two years and the elimination of the current debt limit until March of 2017.
“This is a covert, a clever way of raising the debt ceiling without having to engage in a real discussion of Washington’s runaway spending problem,” he said. “It ensures that no further serious conversation about our debt course or any corresponding action to alter it will take place.”
Additionally, Sessions took issue with what he said is the cementing of a precedent to tether increases in defense spending with domestic spending.
“How silly is this? What possible logical argument can you make for this?” he said, calling it “deeply troubling.”
Sessions also took aim at the accounting “gimmicks” in the bill that he earlier decried in a joint statement with Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) Wednesday: The use of “tricks” like double-counting for savings and raiding the Social Security Trust fund to bolster the disability program.
“We’re losing momentum,” he said. “Several years ago we were in serious discussions about the dangers we face financially, and that has been eroded.”
The Alabamian stressed the need for more time, saying there is no need to pass the bill immediately.
“There’s no crisis that requires us to pass it today,” he said. “There are a number of interim steps we could take to allow this bill to be out there for the members to actually study it, to offer amendments on it, and maybe improve it and for the America people to understand just what it is the members of Congress are doing to their Social Security and the fiscal debt of America.”
Sessions pointed to the GOPs ability to negotiate spending reforms with Obama in the 2011 debt limit deal even with a smaller majority in the House and no majority in the Senate.
“And now there are 54 Republicans in the chamber and the House has a huge majority. So I think we can do better and I don’t think this should be rushed through the Congress and I would object to its passage,” he concluded.