Democrats Delay Vote on Sessions Nomination
Senate Democrats continue to delay the vote that will confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions as President Trump’s attorney general.
The Hill reports:
“As we have done for most nominees … I’m asking that the vote for Sen. Sessions be held over until next week,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee was scheduled to vote on the Alabama Republican’s nomination during a Tuesday morning meeting. The committee’s approval is a first step to being scheduled for a full Senate vote.
But under committee rules, any lawmaker can ask that a nomination be held over for a week if it’s on the agenda for the first time.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, kicked off Tuesday’s hearing by noting that Democrats wanted to delay the nomination, and said, “Of course, I’ll honor that request,” per the committee’s rules.
Democrats were widely expected to delay the vote, though Feinstein declined to comment on Monday evening about her plans.
She said at Tuesday’s committee meeting that she believed lawmakers should take more time to review Sessions’s nomination in the wake of the women’s marches nationwide last Saturday. Quartz estimated that 1 out of every 100 Americans took part in the protests.
“[Women] have had to fight for everything we have won throughout history. Nothing has been easy,” she said. “Our history in this march and what we’re going to do on the attorney general is really very important.”
Feinstein noted the Judiciary Committee has only had five female senators since the committee started. The committee currently has three female senators, which Feinstein said was the most the committee has ever had at one time.
Democrats face an uphill battle to ultimately block Sessions’s nomination. Grassley noted on Tuesday he that expects the Alabama Republican to clear the committee next week.
Sessions will only need 50 votes to clear the Senate floor, and Republicans have a 52-seat majority. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has also said he will vote for Sessions.
But Feinstein argued on Tuesday that Sessions turned over nearly 190 pages of questions on Sunday that were a response to lawmaker questions and that senators and staff needed more time to review the new material.
“This nomination is a very big deal,” she said. “Our staff needs time to go through these answers, and we need time to put them in context.”