In the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions has earned the reputation as a tough fiscal conservative. At every turn, Sessions works hard to limit spending, keep taxes low, and fight waste, fraud, and abuse. He knows that low taxes lead to economic growth, and he believes that Americans know how to spend their hard-earned money better than politicians in Washington. Putting money back in the taxpayers' hands allows individuals to invest in the future of our country.
Sessions regularly stands guard on the Senate floor looking out for the American taxpayer by offering amendments and pursuing bipartisan efforts to combat wasteful and unnecessary spending. He has also developed a reputation as a guardian of the budget, raising points of order against legislation that violates pre-set spending limits. Sessions understands that when Congress agrees upon certain spending levels, it represents an agreement with the American people as well for how their tax dollars will be spent.
In January 2011, Sessions was selected by his colleagues to be Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, a committee he has been a part of since 2003. Senator Sessions has worked to develop reasonable, responsible budgets that meet our national priorities without excess growth of the federal government.
Unfortunately, it has been well over 1,000 days since the Senate majority has put forward a budget as required by law. During that time, our total federal debt has risen to over $16 trillion, larger than our entire economy and a drag on growth that costs one million or more U.S. jobs a year.
Sessions’ Efforts to Rein in Spending
In October of 2011, Senator Sessions introduced a reform proposal to make it harder for Congress to spend money in the absence of a budget resolution. The Honest Budget Act (S. 1651), eliminates a number of budget gimmicks and tricks, including Congress' ability to violate budget law by spending money without a budget in place. Specifically, the Honest Budget Act would require a three-fifths majority vote for the Senate to pass appropriation bills without first adopting a budget resolution.
America deserves an honest, fact-based response to our economic challenges that controls Washington spending and grows the private sector. Without a responsible plan for limiting waste and reducing our debt, any tax increase amounts to nothing more than a bailout for big spenders in Washington. Both parties must work together to wisely manage the federal treasury on behalf of every hardworking American.
“The federal budget is a compilation of numbers about the revenues, spending, and borrowing and debt of the government. Revenues come largely from taxes, but stem from other sources as well (such as duties, fines, licenses, and gifts). Spending involves such concepts as budget authority, obligations, outlays, and offsetting collections. The numbers are computed according to rules and conventions that have accumulated over the years; they do not always conform to the way revenues and spending are accounted for in other processes…
When Congress appropriates money, it provides budget authority, that is, authority to enter into obligations. Budget authority also may be provided in legislation that does not go through the appropriations process (direct spending legislation). The key congressional spending decisions relate to the obligations that agencies are authorized to incur during a fiscal year, not to the outlays made during the year. (Obligations occur when agencies enter into contracts, submit purchase orders, employ personnel, and so forth; outlays occur when obligations are liquidated, primarily through the issuance of checks, electronic fund transfers, or the disbursement of cash.)”