The Corner

Sessions Fights Back

Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, thinks Republicans need to stop playing defense when it comes to federal budget issues. In a memo to his GOP colleagues, Sessions argues that President Obama and his Democratic allies have “succeeded in framing the fiscal debate as a choice between fiscal restraint and compassion.” Republicans need to fight back, and do so more effectively.

“Too often, Republicans have responded to this attack upon our morality by either ignoring it altogether or dismissing it as ‘class warfare,’” Sessions writes. “As we enter the first Senate budget process in four years, it is my intention as ranking member not to let these slanders go unanswered.” 

Now that Senate Democrats appear poised to draft their first budget in nearly four years, it should be easier for Republicans to go on the offensive — they will finally have a specific proposal to scrutinize and compare with their own. Sessions previewed this strategy Tuesday during the first full hearing of the budget committee.


Sessions took committee chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.) to task for accusing Republicans of only being interested in “protecting the rich above all else” and “starving programs that help middle-class families and the most vulnerable Americans.”

“I resent the fact that people suggest that those of us who have a different view of how to help poor people somehow don’t care about them,” he said in his opening remarks. “Compassion and help for the poor and struggling amounts to more than borrowing more money and sending out more checks.”

Republicans “reject” the narrative promoted by Murray and other Democrats, Sessions said, adding: ”We believe some of the real problems that are being caused today is because of this kind of incorrect economic thinking.”

“I believe we have to have an economy that’s growing, creating prosperity, that we need to help poor people get jobs and move forward in their lives, not be dependent, ever dependent, on more and more government checks, handouts, and programs,” he said. “My goal is to help working Americans from the social and economic harm that is caused by the policies, I think, of this president and the Senate majority.” 

Andrew StilesAndrew 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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