U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the House's effort to compel the Senate Majority to comply with federal budget statute:
"Speaker Boehner and his House Republicans are exactly right to insist that the Democratic Senate fulfill its moral responsibility and statutory duty to produce a budget, joined with a sustained effort to cut spending and move our nation towards a balanced budget.
Secret deals have not worked and are an affront to popular democracy. The right process is the regular order. The House produces its budget--as it has--and the Senate passes its budget, all in accordance with the Budget Act of 1974. Under that law, the Senate Budget Committee must approve a budget resolution by April 1st. From there, the law requires the budget to be considered on the Senate floor where it must receive 50 hours of open amendment and debate. A budget cannot be filibustered and is adopted by a simple majority in both committee and the full Senate.
Then, once the issues and differences are clarified by this open process, the work of conferencing must begin. It will not be easy because the challenge is great--and has become greater each year as a result of inaction by the Senate.
The House has reached a historic and important decision. They know they cannot negotiate with the Democratic Senate if the Senate won't even set forth a proposal.
The House must succeed in its effort to force an end to the Senate Majority's lawlessness. Theirs is a plan for an open and public process and for the financial security of America.
The House must be steadfast. It is unthinkable that Senator Reid and Chairman Murray would put the nation through turmoil because they refuse to do their moral and statutory duty to produce a budget. The House must be clear and firm. Otherwise, the Senate leadership will once again maneuver around their plain duty. Yet if the House is resolute, the Senate will be forced to do its duty.
Our challenge is enormous, but a clear and responsible budget and smart legislation to end our nation's reckless debt path can restore confidence and secure the future for today and for tomorrow. Our current path--that of Greece--is one of chronically high debt, unemployment, poverty, and dependency. Adding endlessly to the debt is not compassionate; it is destructive. We must rescue the nation from this painful course and help those who need it most live better, freer, and more prosperous lives.
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