Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Jeff Sessions Jeff Sessions

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Almanac

Search

Enter your search query or use our Advanced People Search. Need Help? View our search tips

View Saved Lists
View Saved Lists
Republican

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R)

Jeff Sessions Contact
Back to top
Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-4124

Address: 326 RSOB, DC 20510

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (205) 731-1500

Address: 1800 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham AL 35203-2171

Mobile AL

Phone: (251) 414-3083

Fax: (251) 414-5845

Address: 41 West I-65 Service Road North, Mobile AL 36608-1291

Montgomery AL

Phone: (334) 244-7017

Fax: (334) 244-7091

Address: 7550 Halcyon Summit Drive, Montgomery AL 36117-7012

Huntsville AL

Phone: (256) 533-0979

Fax: (256) 533-0745

Address: 200 Clinton Avenue, NW, Huntsville AL 35801-4932

Dothan AL

Phone: (334) 792-4924

Fax: (334) 792-4928

Address: 100 West Troy Street, Dothan AL 36303

Jeff Sessions Staff
Back to top
Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Vogt, Kaitlin
Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Brown, Clint
Legislative Correspondent
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Brown, Clint
Legislative Correspondent
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Hand, Clay
Grants Coordinator
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Vogt, Kaitlin
Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Hand, Clay
Grants Coordinator
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
Brown, Clint
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Brown, Clint
Legislative Correspondent
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Amason, Virginia
Field Representative
Brown, Clint
Legislative Correspondent
Clark, Alex
Staff Assistant
Cox, Paula
Staff Assistant
Day, Valerie
Field Representative
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Hand, Clay
Grants Coordinator
Hanrahan, Peggi
Executive Assistant to the Senator
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Luff, Sandra
Legislative Director
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Meeks, Cecelia
Field Representative
Miller, Stephen
Communications Director
Montgomery, Lisa
Field Representative
Pierce, Conrad
Senior Health Care Policy Advisor
Vogt, Kaitlin
Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Landrum, Pete
Senior Defense Policy Advisor
Pierce, Conrad
Senior Health Care Policy Advisor
Vogt, Kaitlin
Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Miller, Stephen
Communications Director
Hand, Clay
Grants Coordinator
Hanrahan, Peggi
Executive Assistant to the Senator
Herther, Andrew
Legislative Assistant
Brown, Clint
Legislative Correspondent
Elliott, George
Legislative Correspondent
Jaye, Bradley
Legislative Correspondent
McBride, Emily
Legislative Correspondent
Luff, Sandra
Legislative Director
Amason, Virginia
Field Representative
Day, Valerie
Field Representative
Meeks, Cecelia
Field Representative
Montgomery, Lisa
Field Representative
Clark, Alex
Staff Assistant
Cox, Paula
Staff Assistant
Note: You can only itemize lists in the Interests and Title sections
Save List
X

Your saved lists will appear under My Saved Lists on The Almanac's landing page.

Jeff Sessions Committees
Back to top
Jeff Sessions Biography
Back to top
  • Elected: 1996, term expires 2014, 3rd term.
  • State: Alabama
  • Born: Dec. 24, 1946, Hybart
  • Home: Mobile
  • Education:

    Huntingdon Col., B.A. 1969, U. of AL, J.D. 1973

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1973–75, 1977–81, 1993–94; Asst. U.S. atty., 1975–77; U.S. atty., 1981–93.

  • Military Career:

    Army Reserves, 1973–86.

  • Political Career:

    AL atty. gen., 1994–96.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Methodist

  • Family: Married (Mary); 3 children

Despite his courtly manner, Republican Jeff Sessions, Alabama’s junior senator since 1997, is known as a conservative bulldog. He is an outspoken critic of illegal immigration whom the conservative National Review dubbed "amnesty's worst enemy." Read More

Despite his courtly manner, Republican Jeff Sessions, Alabama’s junior senator since 1997, is known as a conservative bulldog. He is an outspoken critic of illegal immigration whom the conservative National Review dubbed "amnesty's worst enemy."

Sessions grew up in the state’s Black Belt, the son of a country store owner, and recalls seeing many farm families go bankrupt. “They got crushed by debt, and the lesson was clear: You simply cannot live above your means or it will catch up to you,” he told the Mobile Press-Register in 2012. He graduated from Huntingdon College and the University of Alabama Law School, then practiced law in a small town near the Tennessee Valley and later in Mobile. He was appointed U.S. attorney in Mobile in 1981, at age 35, and became known as a tough, aggressive prosecutor over the next dozen years. In 1985, he was nominated for a federal judgeship but was attacked by liberals for “gross insensitivity” in racial matters when he prosecuted vote fraud cases. With Alabama’s Democratic Sen. Howell Heflin voting against him in the Judiciary Committee, his nomination never went to the Senate floor.

In 1994, Sessions challenged state Attorney General Jimmy Evans, a Democrat who had successfully prosecuted Republican Gov. Guy Hunt the year before, and won 57%-43%. In March 1995, when Heflin announced his retirement, Sessions ran for his seat. In the contested GOP primary, Sessions relied on his base in southern Alabama, territory that not so long ago cast almost no Republican primary votes. Long-distance carrier executive Sid McDonald spent more than $1 million on his campaign. From Birmingham north, the primary was a close race: McDonald led 30%-29%. But in the rest of the state, Sessions led 48%-12%, for a 38%-22% statewide victory. In the runoff, McDonald extended his lead north from Birmingham, 54%-46%. But almost half the total votes were cast farther south, and there Sessions led 73%-27%, for a 59%-41% win.

The Democratic nominee, trial lawyer and state Sen. Roger Bedford, was financed by trial lawyers and endorsed by key public employee unions and African-American organizations—the heart of today’s Alabama Democratic Party. In the general election, Bedford was competitive in fundraising and was the better campaigner. He opposed abortion rights, gun control, and gays in the military. Sessions avoided debates and attacked his opponent as a “Ted Kennedy” Democrat, a reference to the Massachusetts liberal senator that suggested Bedford was too far to the left for Alabama. Sessions won 52%-45%, running best in the suburban counties around Alabama’s cities. Bedford carried the Black Belt and other rural counties.

Sessions has a very conservative voting record in the Senate. Now the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, he has assailed President Barack Obama for being unwilling to seriously address the growing national debt. “For the president to say his plan will pay down the debt is one of the greatest financial misrepresentations ever made to the American people,” he said on the Republicans’ weekly radio address in September 2012. He also complained about the unwillingness of his Democratic counterparts on the committee to pass a budget plan and said GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s controversial House-passed budget “lays the foundation for an American renaissance.” He often travels around Alabama giving detailed presentations, complete with charts, about the mounting debt, using much the same manner as he did in his days as a prosecutor, laying out the facts and asking people to judge.

He teamed with Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill in 2010 in adding to a measure to raise the federal debt limit an amendment to impose multi-year caps on discretionary spending. The pair offered the measure several times until it fell just one vote short of the 60 required to pass. In 2012, Sessions proposed four amendments to the farm bill that would tighten food stamp eligibility and end payments to states that increase the size of their rolls. Senate Democrats and a handful of GOP moderates rejected his proposals.

When Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., struck a deal with her House counterpart, Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan, on a bipartisan budget in December 2013, Sessions was among those refusing to endorse it. He said he opposed raising discretionary spending above the level agreed to in the 10-year Budget Control Act period, and was against using trust-fund savings to raise that spending. He also complained: "Much of the spending increase in this deal has been justified by increased fees and new revenue. In other words: it’s a fee increase to fuel a spending increase—rather than reducing deficits."

Sessions became a leader against illegal immigration because, he said, no one else was willing to do so. In 2006, Sessions emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of the bipartisan immigration bill sponsored by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He staunchly opposed a provision granting immigrants who had entered the country illegally a process to achieve citizenship. Over the next two years, as Congress debated changes in immigration policy, Sessions was a major roadblock to proposals easing immigration restrictions. In January 2007, he got the Senate to pass a bill banning federal contracts for 10 years to contractors who do not use the E-Verify system and hire illegal immigrants. Later in the year, he fought a bill that came to the floor that created a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants. He objected to a provision that 30% of immigrants be admitted on the basis of marketable skills, saying the percentage should be much higher, and he also said that immigrants with temporary legal status should be ineligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 2008, Sessions succeeded in passing an amendment to the budget to fund completion of a fence along the border with Mexico, to impose mandatory prison terms for illegal border crossers, and to deport illegal immigrants convicted of a felony. As calls grew four years later for Congress to act on immigration, he was unyielding on the need for tighter enforcement above all else: “Securing the border, and enforcing immigration law, is especially important in these difficult economic times. Illegal labor depresses wages and makes it more difficult for out-of-work Americans to find good-paying jobs,” he said.

Sessions bitterly but unsuccessfully opposed a 2013 bipartisan immigration reform bill, sending around policy proposals to undecided members and criticizing the news media for what he called its bias in favor of the proposal. And when an influx of Central American refugees on the U.S.-Mexico border led Congress to take up a bill trying to control the border in July 2014, Sessions again was among those leading the charge against it. He raised a point of order against the Senate's $3.6 billion border funding bill; Democrats fell 10 votes short of defeating it. He also persuaded members of Alabama's GOP House delegation to oppose that chamber's version because, he argued, it did not explicitly prevent Obama from using federal funds to enable further immigration through issuing work permits. He said such an action "would be an executive nullifcation of our laws."

Although Sessions has sponsored few major bills, he has had considerable success inserting into other legislation provisions he favors that set new federal policy. He typically targets bills that are likely to pass, an effective strategy. When the Medicare prescription drug bill came to the floor in 2003, Sessions added a provision for higher Medicare reimbursement for rural hospitals and threatened to vote against the final version of the bill unless it stayed in. It did, sending $738 million to Alabama, more than any other state except Texas and Florida. He also is unafraid to block legislation he dislikes. For several months in 2011, he held up passage of the Generalized System of Preferences, a trade agreement that opens the United States to up to 5,000 products from 127 developing countries, in an unsuccessful bid to make changes to protect a sleeping bag maker in his state from foreign competition.

Sessions has been a staunch defender of the oil, gas, and nuclear power industries. After the BP oil spill in 2010, he joined Louisiana Republican David Vitter in introducing a bill to raise the amount in damages for spill-related losses apart from cleanup costs. He rejected the idea that BP should lead the cleanup effort, saying the government should take on that role. Sessions is one of the Senate’s leading backers of more nuclear generated power and is one of his party’s climate change skeptics. When Sen. Barbara Boxer told him at an August 2012 hearing that 98% of scientists agree that humans are responsible for climate change, he scoffed, “I am offended by that ... I don’t believe that’s correct.”

On the Armed Services Committee, Sessions has been a big advocate for missile defense, and he has also focused on building up defense installations in Alabama. He supported the Bush administration on the Iraq war and was one of nine senators to vote against an amendment banning “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” of prisoners. Along with Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, he is a leading Senate critic of earmarks, the special provisions inserted into spending bills by lawmakers for their districts or states. Nevertheless, Sessions supports major projects with an impact on Alabama. He has criticized the Obama administration’s fight against terrorism, writing in a Washington Post op-ed in 2011, “This administration has lost sight of the reality that actionable intelligence — not criminal prosecution — is the only way our country can detect and foil the next al-Qaida plot.”

In his 2002 reelection bid, Sessions was opposed by Democrat Susan Parker, the state auditor and a fundraiser for colleges. She had the support of teachers’ unions, but Sessions outspent her 4-to-1 and won 59%-40%. Parker carried two Tennessee River counties in the north and 12 Black Belt counties in the center of the state, but Sessions won everything else. He raised early money in advance of the 2008 election, warding off possible challenges by prominent Democrats—Artur Davis, then a House member, and Ron Sparks, the state agriculture commissioner. His opponent was state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile. Sessions raised $6.4 million and spent $3.8 million, while Figures spent $331,000. Sessions won 63%-37%. He is a lock for reelection in 2014.

Show Less
Jeff Sessions Election Results
Back to top
2008 General
Jefferson Sessions (R)
Votes: 1,305,383
Percent: 63.36%
Spent: $6,370,595
Vivian Figures
Votes: 752,391
Percent: 36.52%
Spent: $332,750
2008 Primary (Party-Run Primary)
Jefferson Sessions (R)
Votes: 199,690
Percent: 92.27%
Earl Gavin
Votes: 16,718
Percent: 7.73%
Prior Winning Percentages
2002 (59%), 1996 (52%)
Jeff Sessions Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 15 (L) : 80 (C) 10 (L) : 89 (C) 6 (L) : 93 (C)
Social 16 (L) : 83 (C) 26 (L) : 71 (C) 12 (L) : 83 (C)
Foreign 15 (L) : 84 (C) 16 (L) : 77 (C) 26 (L) : 71 (C)
Composite 16.5 (L) : 83.5 (C) 19.2 (L) : 80.8 (C) 16.2 (L) : 83.8 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC7171
LCV914
CFG9178
ITIC-75
NTU8781
20112012
COC90-
ACLU-25
ACU9088
ADA50
AFSCME0-
Key Senate Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Ratify New START
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Confirm Elena Kagan
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop EPA climate regs
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Block release of TARP funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $787 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Repeal DC gun laws
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Confirm Sonia Sotomayor
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar budget rules for climate bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass 2010 budget resolution
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let judges adjust mortgages
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow FDA to regulate tobacco
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Protect gays from hate crimes
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Cut F-22 funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Label North Korea terrorist state
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Build Guantanamo replacement
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow federal funds for abortion
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Cap greenhouse gases
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase missile defense $
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2008
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Make English official language
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Path to citizenship
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Fetus is unborn child
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Prosecute hate crimes
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 3/08
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Iran guard is terrorist group
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
Read More
 
Browse The Almanac
Congressional Leadership
and Committees

House Committees
Senate Committees
Joint Committees
Leadership Roster
About Almanac
almanac cover
The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
Members: Buy the book at 25% off retail.
Order Now
Need Help?

Contact Us:

202.266.7900 | membership@nationaljournal.com