"This is designed for us to set an example by cutting our own budget and not just asking other people to tighten their belts," said Nelson on the Senate floor. "Congress shouldn’t be exempt from the pain."

Sen. Roger WickerRoger WickerGOP senators on Comey firing: Where they stand United Airlines grilled at Senate hearing Overnight Tech: Republicans offer bill to kill net neutrality | Surveillance, visa reforms top GOP chair's tech agenda | Panel pushes small biz cyber bill MORE (R-Miss.) agreed that cutting 5 percent would be a "small but symbolic step."

Nelson's amendment is one of several that have been tacked on to the Small Business Administration authorization bill have nothing to do with the underlying legislation.