GOP budget leader: ‘We’re heading to Greece, we’re heading to Ireland’
The incoming ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee warned Sunday the U.S. is headed in the direction of states that have gone bust if Washington doesn’t get its fiscal house in order.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the midterm election, in which Republicans took control of the House and reduced Democrats’ majority in the Senate, showed that voters expected a change in direction.
“People see where we’re headed,” Sessions said. “We’re heading to Greece. We’re heading
to Ireland. We’re heading to California.”
In May, the IMF and EU agreed to extend a $145 billion bailout package
to Greece. In November, a $113 billion bailout package was extended to
keep Ireland afloat.
“I think the House is going to submit a very lean, tight, tough budget,” Sessions said.
“And the Senate is going to have a real difficult time accommodating the
challenges that we face.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said on the program that Democrats had led the way in balancing the budget in past years.
“When the president came in, he inherited this debt that had grown
and grown and grown over the Bush years. When Bill Clinton left office — the last time that we had a surplus, it was a Democratic president,” Klobuchar said.
“So you have to look at the fact that Democrats have made some tough
decisions in the past,” she added. “They got us into a balanced budget. And we can
make the tough decisions this time.”
Sessions countered that Clinton claimed credit for balancing the budget, but “there was blood, politically, on the floor” as Congress made it happen.
“We have to start in the Senate,” Sessions said. “Greece is having troubles, but they’re going to be better for this. New
Jersey is having protests and objections, but they’re going to be
better for the difficult choices they’re making.
“And we’re not going to
sink into the abyss if we reduce spending in America.”
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