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

Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsDeVos should ‘persist’ despite liberal opposition The Trump administration has definitely not drained the swamp Aide denies report that Christie has been talking WH role 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 ReidIf Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first Senate confirms Mulvaney to be Trump’s budget chief Democrats declare victory after Puzder bows out 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 MurrayTop lawmakers from both parties: 'Vaccines save lives' Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order Oprah's network provides Senate with tape of abuse allegations by Puzder's ex-wife: report MORE (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanCEOs come to defense of border tax plan 7 key players in the GOP's border tax fight Angst in GOP over Trump's trade agenda 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 AyotteLewandowski saw no evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire NH governor 'not aware’ of major voter fraud Former NH AG: 'Allegations of voter fraud in NH are baseless' MORE (R-N.H.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamCEOs come to defense of border tax plan Trump’s feud with the press in the spotlight Senators eye new sanctions against Iran MORE (R-S.C.), James InhofeJames InhofeGOP considers ways to ‘modernize’ endangered species law GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau GOP senators to Trump: We support 'maintaining and expanding' Gitmo MORE (R-Okla.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerPruitt confirmation sets stage for Trump EPA assault Price huddles with Senate GOP on ObamaCare Net neutrality fix faces hard sell 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 HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock 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.