Senate Budget ranking member Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday that he is bringing on longtime budget and Senate rules expert Eric Ueland as his committee staff director.
Ueland will replace current Chief of Staff Marcus Peacock, who has been with Sessions since he took the top GOP spot on the panel two and a half years ago.
With budget wars dominating the conversation in Washington, Ueland's hire could signal Sessions' desire to beef up his ability to spar with Democrats on the issue. In
in Washington, Ueland's hire could signal Sessions' desire to beef up his ability to spar with Democrats on the issue. In recent battles with Democrats over sending the Senate budget to conference with the House, more junior members, such as Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, have taken leading roles.
Ueland, currently a vice president at the Duberstein Group, worked as former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's, R-Tenn., chief of staff as well as chief of staff to former Senate Majority Whip Don Nickles, R-Okla. In those roles, he was regarded as one of the smarter procedural strategists for the Republicans.
Here is Sessions' full statement on the departure of Peacock and Ueland's hire:
“We are all sad to see Marcus Peacock leave the Budget Committee and wish him the best of luck in his next adventure. Marcus joined up with us from my first day as Ranking Member, and he has been a source of wise counsel and leadership ever since. His keen judgment proved indispensable during the many high-stakes budget debates of the last two-and-a-half years. He brought an amazing enthusiasm and exuberance to his leadership role that was admired by all his colleagues. Marcus is one of the finest public servants I have had the pleasure to work with—his character and decency have been recognized by everyone on the Hill, Democrat and Republican alike. My admiration for him is unbounded and I hate to see him go. I understand he plans to begin working on a book soon, and I am very much looking forward to reading it. "While I will miss Marcus’ advice and judgment, I am pleased to announce that we will be joined by Eric Ueland as staff director on the Budget Committee. I got to know Eric when he worked for Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles and later as Chief of Staff to Majority Leader Frist, and was impressed with his intimate knowledge of the workings of the Senate. With his previous roles, he’s familiar with the kinds of difficult budget issues that Congress must confront. I am grateful that he’s agreed to come back to the Senate to lead our team.”