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A Teleconference With Jeff Sessions

Written By : John Hawkins
May 19, 2011

Right off of his vote to filibuster Goodwin Liu (And, yes, he was stopped), Jeff Sessions hopped into a new media teleconference. Here are my notes, not quotes, from the teleconference.

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Opening statement

It has been 750 days since Congress passed a budget. We have never faced a more predictable economic crisis than the debt crisis. We are headed towards a future like Greece.

Democrats don’t want to produce a budget because if they produce one their members will support, it will be rejected by the American people.

For the first time in history, even with 59 Senators, the Democrats didn’t pass a single appropriations bill.

People say they had a hard time producing a budget. Well, they want to be the majority party and that’s one of their responsibilities. If they can’t do it, they can’t handle the job.

Q&A

Is it encouraging that there will be a budget proposal?

It is. I think Democrats talking to people back home are not in denial.

Peter Roskam has said this is the first time in decades that we’re talking about cutting instead of raising budgets. Is not producing a budget a democratic strategy or because they lack the will?

They lack the will. Harry Reid has promised to bring up the Ryan budget and attack it next week. Well, what have they produced? They’re going to attack Ryan while they don’t produce a budget. That’s not adult leadership.

You have to be careful about what this administration says. They say their budget makes America live within its means. Not true at all.

Democrats have talked about attaching a tax to oil and gas companies. Thoughts?

I would expect that to successfully be resisted by our leadership.

Question from me: How long do you think it would be before we had a situation like the one Greece faces? Is it short term, long term? Five years, ten years, twenty years?

We are on an unsustainable path. The debt committee said we’re facing the most predictable crisis in our country’s history. Erskine Bowles said it could be 2 years. Alan Simpson said one year. Hopefully, that’s not true. But, we’re not talking about a crisis in our grandchildren’s future; we’re talking about one in our future. If our interest rate jumped a little bit, we could add half a billion in debt payments. We could quickly get to the point where we can’t pay our interest. That’s what Moody’s is looking at. This is a near term, not a long term problem. We need to change and change now and the other side is in denial on it.

Liu didn’t pass cloture. Thoughts?

Liu has never lived in the real world. His writings are beyond anything I’ve seen on the Constitution. He is so untethered from law to an act of politics, party, religion, and sociology. I don’t believe Liu will be faithful to the Constitution.

What do you think the message on the Liu matter is?

The Senate is not a rubber stamp. Democrats started the filibuster process and we’re playing by the Democrats’ standards.

Is not passing cloture the same as a filibuster?

Yes, it is. My response to Democrats, when they did this in the Bush years, was to tell them that they changed the ground rules.

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