Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Senate Confirms Jeff Sessions As U.S. Attorney General In 52-47 Vote
The Senate has voted to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general in a 52-47 vote that went along party lines, following days of rigorous discussion and capping a vicious debate that left Democrats and Republicans seething, and Elizabeth Warren barred from speaking.
Sen. Joe Manchin was the only Democrat to break party rank and vote to back Sessions. Independent Senators Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont voted alongside 45 Democrats in opposition to the nominee.
The fight over Sessions' nomination infamously escalated last night, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren read a letter that Coretta Scott King had written in 1986 that accused Sessions, a U.S. attorney at the time, of using the power of his office to prevent blacks from voting. As we reported last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to Warren’s speech, saying she had impugned another member of the Senate. Then, in a 49-43 vote, the Senate agreed, blocking Warren from speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday.