Sen. Sessions: GOP will oppose new spending on jobs from Obama

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.

Theres no doubt in my mind that the debt that weve now incurred is already weakening our economy, Sessions said on the Senate floor. It comes to a point that you cant keep borrowing in a futile attempt to stimulate the economy when the increased debt itself is weakening the economy.

ADVERTISEMENT
Sessions read one press report on the Senate floor that said Obama could propose as much as $300 billion in new spending in his Thursday night address to a joint session of Congress. According to that report, Obama is expected to propose extending payroll tax cuts for another year, and extending expiring jobless benefits. Those two measures combined will cost $170 billion.

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 dont think school buildings is the problem with our education right now, and when you dont have any money, youve 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 Obamas 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 — were already in debt, were already borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, so were 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. Its just that simple.