Jeff Sessions Wins Senate Talking Title, ahead of Harry Reid and Ted Cruz

Saturday, January 04, 2014
Sen. Jeff Sessions...waiting his turn (photo: Susan Walsh, AP)

The biggest talker in the U.S. Senate during 2013 was not the man who tried to filibuster Obamacare into stopping, or the legislative body’s top leader. No, the senator who logged the most speaking time was Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who spent much of his time railing against federal spending or plans to reform immigration.


Sessions talked for more than 33 hours last year, according to C-SPAN, the congressional cable network. The GOP’s senior member of the Senate Budget Committee chimed in often during the many fiscal debates, and he frequently voiced opposition to a Democratic plan to help illegal immigrants gain citizenship.


His speaking total eclipsed that of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who recorded about 30 hours on C-SPAN.


“That’s an impressive distinction considering that Reid opens and closes the Senate most days that it is in session, often making extended opening remarks, while Sessions is a member of the minority party without a formal leadership position,” Michael Memoli wrote at The Los Angeles Times.


Sessions also beat out his Republican colleague Ted Cruz of Texas, who gained notoriety for his 21-hour filibuster of Obamacare.


Other frequent talkers of 2013 were Senators Richard Durbin (D-Illinois), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, who logged 20 hours, and John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Republican whip, who spoke for 19 hours.


Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who held the floor for 13 hours in March, while he spoke against holding Americans without charge or killing them with drones and other issues, didn’t even make the top five.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Alabama Republican is Senate's Top Talker of 2013 (by Michael A. Memoli, Los Angeles Times)

Video Library: Jefferson "Jeff" Sessions (C-SPAN)


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