Sen. Sessions blasts Democrats for refusal to bring budget for vote

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) delivered a scathing response to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Democrats for refusing to bring up a budget for a vote.

"You can spin it anyway you want to, but the Democratic majority in the Senate is incapable of uniting behind a plan that the American people would see as credible," Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said Thursday.

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Sessions's speech came after Conrad, earlier on Thursday, defended his decision to not hold a vote on his budget. Instead, Conrad held a hearing on debating the plan he backs, which was proposed by former Clinton administration Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.).

"Some have criticized me and said, 'Well, you didn't vote on it,' " Conrad said. "That's right, we're not going to vote on it until we believe there is the best possible chance to actually get results."

Republicans have relentlessly criticized Democrats for refusing to bring a budget to the Senate floor to be considered, debated and amended. Sessions, reiterating some of that criticism, accused Democrats of refusing to bring the budget up for a vote for political reasons — i.e., the closeness of the 2012 presidential election — as well as, Sessions said, the ineffectiveness the Bowles-Simpson budget would have on reducing the deficit.

"No wonder they don't want to have that on the floor, where it can be talked about" and debated, Sessions said.

In his earlier speech Conrad also said that, contrary to GOP criticism, Democrats had submitted a budget through the Budget Control Act passed last year which, Conrad said, sets a budget for three years.

"We have a budget for this year and next, it's contained in the Budget Control Act," Conrad said.