By Glynn Wilson –
U.S. Senate Democrats are delaying a key vote on Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions’s nomination as President Donald Trump’s attorney general, according The Hill and other news outlets. They say Senators need more time to review the candidate.
“As we have done for most nominees … I’m asking that the vote for Senator Sessions be held over until next week,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the leading Democrat on the Judiciary Committee from California, said in a statement issued Tuesday morning.
The committee was scheduled to vote on Sessions’s nomination during a Tuesday morning meeting, 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. The committee’s approval is a first step to being scheduled for a full Senate vote.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Republican Senator from Iowa, began Tuesday’s hearing by honoring the request.
“Of course I’ll honor that request” per the committee’s rules,” he said.
Feinstein said at Tuesday’s 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 one out of every 100 Americans took part in the protest.
“[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 in the committee’s history. It now has three female senators, the most the committee has ever had at any one time.
Democrats face an uphill battle to ultimately block Sessions’s nomination, according to some sources. Grassley said he 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. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin has said he will also vote for Sessions.
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.”
© 2017, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.