Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Wednesday signaled that Republicans would oppose the jobs plan President Obama is expected to announce Thursday, saying it would only put the United States further in debt at a time when the debt is already weighing on the economy.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the debt that we’ve now incurred is already weakening our economy,” Sessions said on the Senate floor. “It comes to a point that you can’t keep borrowing in a futile attempt to stimulate the economy when the increased debt itself is weakening the economy.”
He may also propose a tax credit for companies to hire unemployed workers, costing $30 billion, and a public works program that is expected to cost at least $50 billion for such items as school construction.
Other reports say Obama's total proposals could total less than $300 billion, with some putting the number at $200 billion.
Regardless, Sessions indicated Republicans will oppose any new spending plan that is not offset by spending cuts. The senator noted that while Obama has talked about the need to reduce federal spending, Obama is not expected to describe how to pay for these new programs in his Thursday speech.
He also specifically rejected the idea of new spending on school construction. “Well, I don’t think school buildings is the problem with our education right now, and when you don’t have any money, you’ve got to be careful about borrowing more to spend,” Sessions said.
Sessions also said the modest cuts agreed to in the July debate over the debt-ceiling deal would be immediately overtaken by Obama’s proposal to spend even billions more. Sessions noted that the debt-ceiling deal only requires a $7 billion cut to fiscal year 2012 spending.
“And this plan calls for over $300 billion in spending anew,” he said. “Not paid for — we’re already in debt, we’re already borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, so we’re going to add another $300 billion in spending, not paid for, borrowed, every penny of it.
“At some point, this country gets to a position where you cannot continue to borrow without damaging the economy. It’s just that simple.”