The Corner

‘Leaving the Battlefield in a Time of War’

In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Session (R., Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, set the stage for President Obama’s speech on deficit reduction tomorrow afternoon at George Washington University. Sessions said he was glad to hear that the president might finally accept some of the recommendations put forward by his deficit commission, but “I’d like to see something more than a speech, I’d like to see some numbers.” The president’s continued failure to lead on “one of the great challenges of our nations history,” Sessions said, was “tantamount to leaving the battlefield in a time of war.”

On the significance of the president’s speech:

I’d say, first of all, it has to be considered a dramatic admission that his previous claims that his budget calls on us to live within our means, to pay down the debt, and not add to the debt, were false.

On Obama’s failure to produce a serious budget, and the Democratic Senate’s failure to produce any budget:

At this point in history, with a budget supposed to be passed in the senate Friday, and we haven’t even had a mark-up to have a hearing on the budget, we’ve not seen one other than the president’s previous budget, which is so utterly irresponsible, I think he owes more than a speech. We hear a lot of speeches in this country. A lot from the president. What we need is numbers.

On the president’s “leadership” thus far:

Once the president engages, we can have that long-overdue national dialogue about solving the nation’s problems, but he’s got to acknowledge we have one.

[. . .]

I hope this does not continue the pattern of retreat that is already emerging, where the president supports deficit reduction in theory but resists it in practice and claims credit when he’s forced to accept reductions.”

For a president to abdicate his responsibility to lead the effort to meet one of the greatest challenges of our nations history would be tantamount to leaving the battlefield in a time of war.

Earlier today, Senator Sessions sat down with NRO’s Bob Costa. More here.

Andrew Stiles — Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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