Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions Tuesday called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s debt-ceiling plan “inadequate” and said it does not have the “teeth” of the proposal put forward by House Speaker John Boehner.
“We are at the 11th hour [and] the Reid bill is not adequate,” Sessions, ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “He purports to reduce spending over 10 years, $2.7 trillion. We’ve done a fair and honest evaluation — it reduces spending $1 trillion over 10 years.
“I don’t believe Sen. Reid’s plan has the teeth in it that Speaker Boehner’s reduction-spending plan does,” he said, adding the Senate majority leader’s plan leaves opportunities for future legislation that could “violate” spending cuts.
Van Susteren wondered whether even Boehner’s proposal, which faces significant conservative opposition, had the “teeth” to make it “impossible to violate.”
“The only thing that really has great teeth to it would be a constitutional amendment like so many states have that says you must live within your means, and balance the budget year after year,” Sessions said. “So that clearly is the thing that would help solve, in a permanent way, the problem that we’ve continually had of Congress unwilling to live within the income level it has.”
Van Susteren asked Sessions whether Reid’s plan, currently under debate in the Senate, can pass considering Democrats are in the majority. There are 51 Democrats in the Senate.
“I do not believe so — I do not believe that it can pass the Senate, because it is an exaggeration of how much it reduces spending — it is asking for too long and too big an increase in the debt ceiling,” Sessions said. “You have to have 60 votes to pass that — any way they write it would be subject to a 60-vote margin. He doesn’t have the 60 votes, in my opinion.
“We are at the 11th hour — we should not have been at the 11th hour — I’ve warned about that all year,” he said. “We’ve not even had budget hearings to deal with our debt crisis. So all of a sudden, out of the blue, in comes these proposals at the 11th hour, and Congress is asked to ratify because of the debt crisis date August 2nd, right out there.
“This is not the way to do the people's business.”
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