Sen. Sessions: Open Debt Ceiling Talks

Thursday, 30 Jun 2011 04:20 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions says negotiations on the debt ceiling have been fruitless, in part, because they are held behind closed doors without accountability to either the full Congress or the American people. Sessions also said Wednesday on CNN the debt ceiling will not be raised without accompanying spending cuts.
 
“Well, look, I don’t believe this idea that we can send one or two people to the White House, and get out a notebook paper, and write up a future financial plan for America involving $30 trillion — I don’t think that can be done,” said Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “I think they need to present it in the regular order as legislation, advocate for it — let’s debate it, let’s have amendments, [let] the American people see this process.
 
 “Do you think it’s healthy — I’ll ask you, is it healthy to do these things in secret, drop them in on August 1st and say it’s got to be passed by August 2nd? I don’t think that’s good,” Sessions said on CNN’s “In the Arena.” “This is really wrong and I object to it.”
 
The Alabama senator said he also is concerned that after first sending Vice President Joe Biden to represent the administration, and now with Obama directly involved, the White House has still not proposed a specific plan to cut the deficit and avoid coming up against the debt ceiling.
 
“Well, I think everybody realizes the August 2nd deadline is a very important deadline — and an agreement to put us on a sound economic course is very, very important — it should be reached well before  August 2nd ,” Sessions said. “My biggest concern is that the president continues to meet with just a few people, or his vice president has, and they have proposed nothing — as week after week, month after month has gone by — as to what they think should be done to change the debt course we are on.
 
“We’re not going to raise the debt limit unless we change the spending level in our country — it just is not going to happen,” he said.

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