Sessions Confirms Spending Deal Would Strip A Key Protection For Senate Minority Rights

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the provision in the Budget Control Act replacement package that removes a crucial budget point of order in the Senate:

“My office has received multiple inquiries as to the effect of the Ryan/Murray deal on Senators’ rights to oppose new spending. I regret to say that this bill clearly and unequivocally undermines the ability of the Senate to maintain agreed-upon statutory spending limits. It legitimizes tax and spend.

Perhaps the House didn’t understand what the impact would be (as the House majority can easily waive points of order in the Rules Committee), but the Senate has used this crucial tool to block tax-and-spend bills on at least three occasions in the recent past:

  • In September 2012, a motion to waive this very point of order on a veterans bill was defeated by a vote of 58-40.
  • In November 2012, a motion to waive the point of order on the Sportsmen’s Act was defeated by a vote of 50-44.
  • In December 2012, a motion to waive the point of order on a banking bill was defeated by a vote of 50-42.

Republican Senators just saw our confirmation rights eviscerated when the Majority Leader deployed the nuclear option. This provision clearly eliminates a very significant power of Senators to block legislation that violates spending limits.”