Senators call on Reid to unveil Democrat budget proposal

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, with six Republican colleagues, sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday, urging him to unveil the Democrats’ budget proposal.

Last week, Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee, chaired by Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota, announced that a budget proposal had been finalized and that it would be released as early as this week. So far, only the Democratic caucus has seen the proposal.

Thursday’s letter was co-signed by Sens. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, David Vitter of Louisiana, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. All objected to the July 4th recess when there was still work to be done on the next fiscal year’s budget, and all are now vexed at the fact that no progress was made on the issue.

“By forgoing a recess week,” read the letter, “the Senate was given an opportunity to begin this necessary work immediately. Yet to date, no budget work has been scheduled.”

The letter points out that not only was no budget work scheduled this week, but the majority leader had scheduled a vote and a debate on a Libya resolution. While the resolution was withdrawn after objections that the forgone recess should be used to work on a budget, still nothing was scheduled.

“We ask that you, as Majority Leader, call for the latest Democratic budget to immediately be made public, in all of its detail, and brought through the statutorily-mandated legislative process,” says the letter. “If our colleagues wish to raise taxes or propose spending cuts, the American people have a right to see that plan on paper.” (As debt talks ramp up, spending cuts not enough for some senators)

The senators ended their letter with a warning that they may continue to object to considering matters unrelated to the budget until the Senate is given a chance to consider and debate the Democrats’ proposal.