On September 24, 2013 Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona ask for and was granted permission to address the United States Senate regarding the Budget Control Act.
“Mr. President, as we debate legislation to keep the government running, we should not be debating a budget number that is higher than the Budget Control Act asks for. Frankly, this is a statement that should not have to be said here on the Senate floor. Why would we even begin to consider a budget number that is some $20 billion higher than the Budget Control Act? Have we somehow become flush with cash? I don’t think so. Did we decide the way to run the country is to increase spending for a few months, only to have the sequester kick in, in January? Who are we kidding?”
“We are not kidding most Americans. They justifiably wonder what we are doing. Once again we find ourselves on the brink of a showdown and a shutdown. It is the same old story but amid the back-and-forth between the two sides of the aisle, Americans do not see Congress getting serious about Federal spending. We failed to pass even 1 of the 12 spending bills to responsibly fund the government for the fiscal year that starts in a few days. Had we taken up these bills in regular order, Members would have had the opportunity to review and consider our spending priorities. That is what people expect us to do here. Instead, we have procrastinated and put off the hard decisions like a bunch of teenagers putting off the pain of a term paper, but this has more serious consequences”, he said.
“Over the past several months the Senate could have voted on these bills, setting spending priorities while abiding by the $967 billion budget cap for the next year. Instead, we chose to go through the motions of preparing spending bills as if no spending limit existed, with the knowledge that these bills would never see the light of day. Now as we quickly approach the 1st of October, we are faced with either passing the continuing resolution with a pricetag of $986 billion, $19 billion more than the law allows, or risking a government shutdown”, said Senator Flake (source: Congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov).