Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump, Clinton discuss counterterrorism with Egyptian president GOP senators want immigration details on attack suspects GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase 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 ReidBlack Caucus demands Flint funding from GOP Report: Intelligence officials probing Trump adviser's ties to Russia White House preps agencies for possible shutdown MORE (D-Nev.) “filled the amendment tree” to stop other senators from being able to amend the deal.
The Senate is considering a budget deal negotiated by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayDems call for better birth control access for female troops US wins aerospace subsidies trade case over the EU Senate Dems unveil new public option push for ObamaCare MORE (D-Wash.) and her House counterpart, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanSunday shows preview: Both sides gear up for debate FULL SPEECH: Obama celebrates African American museum opening Trump slams Obama for ‘shameful’ 9/11 bill veto 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 AyotteSenate rivals gear up for debates WATCH LIVE: Warren campaigns for Clinton in NH Green group endorses in key Senate races MORE (R-N.H.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senators buck spending bill over Export-Import Bank Pelosi pans latest GOP stopgap spending offer MORE (R-S.C.), James InhofeJames InhofeDemocrats blast GOP for ‘sabotaging’ House waterways bill GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase Week ahead: Flint aid fight shifts to House MORE (R-Okla.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerGOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase GOP to Obama: Sanction Chinese entities to get to North Korea Senate GOP pressures Dems for deal on internet fight 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 HaganPhoto finish predicted for Trump, Clinton in North Carolina Are Senate Republicans facing an election wipeout? Clinton's lead in NC elevates Senate race 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.