As chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) plays an integral role in determining exactly how productive Congress can be in passing legislation. In an interview with Roll Call published Tuesday, however, the nine-term Republican admitted that the GOP's primary interests aren't even in the chamber it controls.
"Everything we do in this body should be about messaging to win back the Senate,” Sessions said. “That’s it. If you don’t want Benghazis to happen or you want an investigation for Benghazi, if you want an investigation on the IRS as opposed to the excuses that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] is all about, if you do not like what’s happening at the [National Security Agency], then you gain the Senate.”
While Democrats did praise Sessions in the Roll Call story, the fact that the Republican controlling the flow of legislation into the House is primarily focused on "messaging" and wresting control of the Senate from Democrats suggests that the comatose pace of business in Washington will remain ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
Sessions has emerged as something of a controversial figure across the aisle over the past few weeks. Last month, Democrats reportedly told their colleagues that Sessions had clashed with President Barack Obama during a meeting over the shutdown, telling him, "I cannot even stand to look at you." Both Sessions' camp and the White House later denied that the encounter ever took place.