Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, has dealt with Jack Lew for some time. Lew, nominated by President Barack Obama to become Treasury Secretary, was the White House budget director, and Sessions is top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.
“Jack Lew must never be Secretary of the Treasury," Sessions said Thursday.
"On the most important question of our time, the unsustainability of our national debt course, Lew, as the President’s budget director, appeared before Congress and continued to insist that President Obama’s budget—which Lew had crafted—would not add to the debt of the United States. His original statement, to a national television audience, was as follows:
"Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have each year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.’'
Sessions said he was appalled.
"Nothing could be further from the truth. I have called it the greatest financial misrepresentation in history," he said.
Here's more of Sessions' statement:
"To ‘look the American people in the eye’ and make such a statement remains the most direct and important false assertion during my entire time in Washington. He stuck to this position in his testimony—although (current Treasury) Secretary Geithner before the Committee later did not—and the President continued to make this assertion even in the last months of the campaign. To confirm Mr. Lew would be to acquiesce in a policy of dishonesty to the American people.
"It’s time to look the American people in the eye and tell them the truth.
"It’s time for a Secretary of Treasury to look the American people in the eye and lay out an economic plan for America that will end our debt path that has endangered our future and which will find support among the American people and the world’s financial community. Far from being a positive force towards this essential good, Mr. Lew has given priority to the political interests of the President, in whose White House inner circle he has now served for several years. He is also the architect of two of the worst budgets in American history, both of which received zero votes in the Senate. These plans surged taxes, spending, and debt. He was chief of staff when the second budget was submitted but had also been the budget director while it was being drafted.
"For me, no mea culpa, no excuse, can erase the errors of Mr. Lew. They go to the heart of his responsibility as OMB Director and as White House Chief of Staff.
"President Obama needs to appoint people to his cabinet who will have the trust of both parties and the American people. Sadly, with this and other appointments, the President is going in the other direction.
"At this time of unprecedented slow growth, high unemployment, and huge deficits, we need a Secretary of Treasury that the American people, the Congress, and the world will know is up to the task of getting America on the path to prosperity not the path to decline. Jack Lew is not that man.”