Senate Budget Committee Gets to Work

Elisabeth Meinecke
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Posted: Jan 07, 2011 2:02 PM
The Senate budget committee held its first hearing of the 112th Congress today with the guest of honor (in other words, he testified) being Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is ranking member of the committee this year, taking over the lead GOP position for New Hampshire's retired Sen. Judd Gregg.

Some excerpts from Sessions' opening remarks will probably get those with a fiscal conscious a bit more optimistic about the upcoming session:

"Our goal is not an era of austerity but an era of prosperity. Restoring fiscal discipline and strengthening the private sector is the only way to create growth and opportunity for every hardworking American—and it is the only way to preserve our country’s greatness and its vital role in the world."

He also tips his hat to those he sees setting a good fiscal example at home and abroad:

"We can learn from those who are setting a strong example. In New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has a plan to close his state’s funding gap without raising taxes. In Britain, the new conservative government has a plan to reduce their deficit from ten to four percent of GDP in just four years.

"As Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said: “It is a hard road, but it leads to a better future.”

Let's hope the White House is listening, and that those thoughts can be put into action.  Meanwhile, Bernanke told the committee that it would be four to five years, probably, before the job situation hits normal.