By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, December 17, US Senator Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) issued a statement to discuss his committee Plans For 2015. Even though Sen. Sessions is the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee he will not be Chairman of the Committee when the Republicans take over the Senate in January. Instead Sessions is being preempted by Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).
Sen. Sessions said in a written statement, “My good friend Mike and I have been close since we both entered the Senate together 18 years ago. We will long remain good and close friends. We have talked and I am deferring to his seniority so that he can lead the Budget Committee as its Chairman beginning in 2015. Mike graciously deferred to me two years ago after he timed out on HELP as Ranking Member, and it has been my enormous privilege to serve as the panel’s Ranking Member these last four years, as well as to serve as the Judiciary Ranking Member for the two years before that.”
Sen. Sessions continued, “The Budget Committee has an exceptional staff and I am proud of what we have accomplished. Mike is an accountant and a small businessman who understands the need to balance budgets and tell the truth about the numbers. He is a man of integrity and principle, respected by all of his Senate colleagues. I am eager to assist him next year, and I hope to tackle the important issue of welfare reform.”
Sen. Sessions concluded, “I look forward to being active as a senior member on four committees of enormous importance: Armed Services, Budget, Environment and Public Works, and Judiciary. I also look forward to serving as Chairman of critical Senate subcommittees. My roles in the Senate will give me the opportunity to focus on important issues such as defense, national security, federal debt, EPA reform, crime, and immigration. Overall, I remain deeply concerned about falling wages and the lack of good jobs for Americans. Too many of our citizens are either stuck in place or falling behind, and too often their needs are forgotten. Our new GOP Congress must put the needs of Americans first.”
Many conservatives are angry that the articulate Sen. Sessions is being edged out by the more moderate Enzi.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead wrote on Tuesday, “Sessions is currently the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and is next in line to become Chairman. However, Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming has seniority over Sessions and has indicated that he will attempt to push Sessions out as Chairman. All due respects to the good Senator from Wyoming, he needs to step aside and let Sen. Sessions lead. Conservatives all over America need principled Republicans like Sen. Sessions in leadership positions in Washington.”
National Review wrote: “One of the best advocates Republicans and conservatives have had on Capitol Hill for years has been Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, now the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. It’s unfortunate that there’s a chance he will not become chairman of the Budget Committee next year. Far be it from us to question seniority, but Senator Sessions has had a great deal of practical experience and success on the Budget Committee. Senator Enzi has gotten his votes right, but Sessions has distinguished himself with his passion for key conservative priorities and has proven himself capable of communicating public arguments in their behalf.”
Sessions will be the most senior Republican Senator who is not a Committee Chairman when the new Congress convenes.