Jeff Sessions Bows Out: Mike Enzi Will Chair The Senate Budget Committee

December 17, 2014 4:41 p.m.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) unexpectedly announced on Wednesday that he will bow out of the race for Budget Committee chairmanship and defer to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), who will run opposed for the coveted spot.

“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,” 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.”

Both senators joined the Senate in 1997, so seniority between the two was assigned randomly. Enzi drew a higher lot.

Sessions was favored to be budget chief by the tea party base, in large part due to his fight against immigration reform.

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