The decision by Alabama's Sen. Jeff Sessions to make way for Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming as chairman of the Senate Budget Committee defuses what could have been a rancorous battle among Republicans, Politico
Sessions and Enzi were both elected on the same day in 1996. But Enzi is technically the more senior of the two because he won a hat draw 18 years ago, The Washington Post
"My good friend Mike and I have been close since we both entered the Senate together 18 years ago," Sessions said in a statement. "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," the Post reported.
Sessions noted that Enzi "graciously deferred" to him two years ago so the Alabamian could be the ranking committee member for the past four years.
He described Enzi as "an accountant and a small businessman who understands the need to balance budgets and tell the truth about the numbers."
The junior senator from Alabama has been at odds with Republican leaders in Congress on the grounds that they have not been sufficiently strident in blocking President Barack Obama's immigration policies, according to the Post.
Conservatives favored Sessions over Enzi, whom they perceive as being too close to party leaders.
Sessions will remain active on the Budget Committee, though he will be the most senior Republican senator without a chairmanship or other leadership sinecure.
Enzi promised that Sessions would play an "integral" role on the committee. "Jeff is an outstanding leader and an outstanding speaker" and "is our first line of defense on many issues," Politico reported.
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and Georgia's incoming senator David Perdue become the new Republican members on the Budget panel, Roll Call
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