Senate Democrats moved Friday to pass their first budget in four years, but only after Republicans put them on record opposing a measure aimed at balancing the budget by the end of the decade.
Deficit hawk Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., called a vote late Thursday on a motion to send the Democrats’ plan back to committee with instructions to figure out how to balance it by 2023. Every Democrat except one — Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — opposed it, while all Republicans voted for it. The measure failed on a 46-53 vote.
Sessions used the vote to needle Democrats into taking more aggressive action to tackle the nation’s debt problem.
“Debt is pulling down our economy now. Not tomorrow — now,” Sessions said. “But tonight, the Senate’s majority party denied the American people the growth, jobs, and confidence a balanced budget would create. They denied our children a future free of crushing debt. They denied millions trapped in failed government programs the reforms they need and deserve.”