By Erik Wasson - 01/09/13 07:48 PM EST
"His testimony before the Senate Budget Committee less than two years ago was so outrageous and false that it alone disqualifies," according to the Sessions' statement, which was obtained by The Hill in advance.
Sessions says in his statement that Lew, as the president’s budget director told Congress the budget "would not add to the debt of the United States."
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He cites a Lew statment on CNN that reads: "Our
budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we
can look the American people in the eye and say we're not adding to the
debt anymore; we're spending money that we have each year, and then we
can work on bringing down our national debt."
Sessions's statement says: "To ‘look the American people in the eye’ and make such a statement remains the most direct and important false assertion during my entire time in Washington."
Another reading of Lew's testimony is that he is saying the budget starts a process of eventually getting to a balanced budget and the paying down of the debt, even though the budget itself does not balance.
Sessions' statement goes on to say: "It’s time for a Secretary of Treasury to look the American people in the eye and lay out an economic plan for America that will end our debt path that has endangered our future and which will find support among the American people and the world’s financial community. Far from being a positive force towards this essential good, Mr. Lew has given priority to the political interests of the President, in whose White House inner circle he has now served for several years."
"At this time of unprecedented slow growth, high unemployment, and huge deficits, we need a Secretary of Treasury that the American people, the Congress, and the world will know is up to the task of getting America on the path to prosperity not the path to decline. Jack Lew is not that man," Sessions said.
Updated at 4:13 p.m.