Sessions concedes Budget gavel to Enzi

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE (R-Ala.) on Wednesday afternoon conceded to Sen. Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziCheney on same-sex marriage opposition: 'I was wrong' What Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Senate votes to end debate on T infrastructure bill MORE (R-Wyo.) after a race to become the next chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. 

Sessions, currently the panel’s ranking member, said he reached an agreement with his “good friend” Enzi. 

“We have talked and I am deferring to his seniority so that he can lead the Budget Committee as its Chairman beginning in 2015,” Sessions said in a statement. 

“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,” Sessions added. 

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders, Manchin escalate fight over .5T spending bill Sanders blames media for Americans not knowing details of Biden spending plan Briahna Joy Gray: Proposals favored by Black voters 'first at the chopping block' in spending talks MORE (I-Vt.), the self-proclaimed socialist, will be the new ranking member. He is a vocal advocate for increased spending on social programs and says the budget of the Pentagon should be dramatically slashed. 

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The Budget gavel was the last open seat remaining in the 114th Congress.

Sessions was slated to become chairman until Enzi decided to jump into the race. Enzi only has more seniority on the committee because of lots they both drew when they entered the Senate in 1997, giving him a technical advantage in the race. Both men joined the Budget Committee in 2003.

Many considered Enzi’s decision to pursue the gavel as a signal GOP leaders wanted to stray away from Sessions’s more conservative policies, but Enzi denied that leadership pushed him to go for it.

Enzi released a statement after Sessions announced his decision to back out and said Sessions will still have a “significant role” in reforming welfare spending and eliminating wasteful federal spending.

“I look forward to working with Jeff and the rest of the Budget Committee members on a budget that cuts spending, targets executive overreach, and reduces the size of government,” Enzi said. 

Just like all of the other panels, GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee will vote early next year to confirm Enzi as their chairman. The GOP conference will then have to ratify their decision.

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