Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:50 am
Sen. Jeff Sessions has won confirmation to become the next Attorney-General of the U.S.
The confirmation ended several weeks of contentious Senate fight between the Democrats Senators and its Republicans counterparts.
The Senate narrowly approved Sessions’s nomination on a 52-47 votes, the latest in a series of confirmation votes that have been dragged out amid Democratic protests, which was reported on networks.
One Democrat, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, joined Republicans in voting to confirm Sessions, while Sessions himself, a four-term senator, also voted present.
One of Sessions’s fiercest critics, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, was forced by majority Republicans to sit out at the last leg of the debate.
President Donald Trump has accused Democrats of obstructing the confirmation process, which has made his cabinet confirmation the slowest in history since the time of the first President George Washington set-up the governmentof the U.S. in 1887.
Sessions became just the fifth Trump’s Cabinet nominee approved by the Senate, joining the President’s cabinet members for the Departments of Defence, Homeland Security, Education and State.
In his farewell address to the Senate after his approval, Sessions pledged to work for the national interest of America.
Wednesday’s vote came after a rowdy overnight session during which Warren was formally chastised for allegedly impugning Sessions’ s integrity on the floor.
Warren had read a letter authored in 1986 by Coretta Scott-King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr., who was against Sessions’s nomination at the time to the Federal bench, arguing that he used the power of his office to “chill” black voting rights.
Warren also quoted the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who originally had entered King’s letter into the record, describing Sessions as “disgraceful”.
However, Republican Senate leader said Warren had violated Senate rules and should lose her speaking privileges.
In a remarkable scene, the Senate then voted 49-43 to suspend Warren’s speaking privileges for the rest of the nomination process, the first time the Senate had imposed such a punishment in decades.
Democrats had repeatedly contended that Sessions was too close to Trump, too harsh on immigrants, and weak on civil rights for minorities, immigrants, gay people and women.
Sessions was a prominent early backer of Trump, a supporter of his hard line on illegal immigration and joined Trump’s advocacy of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Republicans, however, argued Sessions had demonstrated over a long career in public service, including two decades in the Senate, that he possesses integrity, honesty, and was committed to justice and the rule of law.
The four-term senator would be sworn-in on Thursday.