Senate rejects Sessions’s attempt to call up budget amendments
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrust Women oppose Sen. Sessions nomination Trump says his Cabinet has 'highest IQ of any Cabinet' Support for Israel is a call to conscience MORE (R-Ala.) tried to bring up an amendment to stop a $6 billion cut in military retiree benefits, but didn’t have the votes to set aside the pending amendments.

On Tuesday, Sessions tried to force the Senate to reopen the amendment process on a bipartisan budget deal. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) “filled the amendment tree” to stop other senators from being able to amend the deal.

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“The legislation before us today now is brought forward in a way that will not allow any amendments,” Sessions said. “Nobody can get an amendment to fix this part of the legislation that plainly needs fixing.”

The Senate is considering a budget deal negotiated by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayWarren burns Mnuchin over failure to disclose assets Warren: GOP ‘ignored’ ethical requirements for Cabinet picks Overnight Healthcare: Takeaways from Price's hearing | Trump scrambles GOP health plans MORE (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanOvernight Defense: Senate to vote on defense picks Friday | 41 detainees left at Gitmo | North Korea may be prepping missile launch Overnight Finance: Scoop – Trump team eyes dramatic spending cuts | Treasury pick survives stormy hearing Dems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts MORE (R-Wis.). The bill sets top-line spending levels for 2014 and 2015 and reduces the sequester spending cuts by $63 billion over the next two years.

To offset the restored sequester cuts, the bill would reduce federal employee retirement benefits by $6 billion. Military retiree benefits are also cut by $6 billion.

Sessions asked to set aside Reid’s amendments in order to call up his own, but he didn’t have the votes needed to accomplish the procedural move — a simple majority.

Before the failed 46-54 vote, Murray said Sessions’s motion would “jeopardize” the entire deal, which the House overwhelmingly passed last week. She also said the benefit cuts don't go into effect for two years, giving lawmakers plenty of time to find another way to save $6 billion.

“Jeopardizing this deal right now only threatens our national security,” Murray said. “There is no doubt that improvements will be made where needed, but this motion is an effort to bring down this bill.”

Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteTen rumored Trump Cabinet picks who didn't get a job Sasse, Perdue join Armed Services Committee Avid pilot among GOP senators joining Transportation committee MORE (R-N.H.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamGraham to vote for Trump’s EPA pick Tillerson met with top State official: report McCain ‘very concerned’ about Tillerson MORE (R-S.C.), James InhofeJames InhofeSenate teeing up Mattis waiver Lawmakers play nice at Russia hacking hearing Senate chairman meets Trump’s EPA nominee MORE (R-Okla.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerFive takeaways from Chao’s confirmation hearing Overnight Tech: Tech listens for clues at Sessions hearing | EU weighs expanding privacy rule | Senators blast Backpage execs Ex-Transportation chief: tax writers key to Trump’s infrastructure plan MORE (R-Miss.) joined Sessions in speaking out against the $6 billion cut on the Senate floor.

All Republican senators voted with Sessions. They were joined by Democratic Sen. Kay HaganKay Hagan Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE (D-N.C.), who is up for a tough reelection in 2014.

The Senate is expected to pass the bill Wednesday afternoon, but it could be sooner if Republicans agree to yield back debate time.