Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, reiterated the concerns voiced by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), ranking member on the committee, about “secret talks” and the prospect of a last-minute “take it or leave it” deal to raise the debt ceiling. The American people would be much better served, Thune argued, by an open budget process. From my article on the homepage:
Congress has developed an unfortunate habit of rushing through “emergency” legislation at the very last minute against the backdrop of some looming existential threat to the fabric of society (TARP, the stimulus, this year’s “budget deal”). The resulting laws can hardly been seen as successful, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) fears the trend will continue in the coming weeks if negotiators are unable to iron out a deal to raise the debt limit.
Sessions tells National Review Online that this sort of “panic situation” would be unacceptable, and that party leaders had “better get busy” if they are to draft a proposal that can be scored, analyzed, and verified before members are asked to vote on it. The White House has declared August 2 the deadline by which the debt ceiling must be raised, and has warned that a failure to do so would precipitate a catastrophic economic collapse.
For those keeping count, it’s been 790 days since the Democratic Senate has passed a budget.