Jeff Sessions Confirmed as Attorney General Amid Partisan Acrimony
Senate Approves Jeff Sessions as Attorney General
The Senate voted Wednesday night to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, to become the nation's attorney general after three days of partisan acrimony over President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees.
The 52-47 vote proceeded along party lines, with one exception: Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, voted with Republicans. Sessions himself voted "present."
"It was a special night, and I appreciate the friendship from my colleagues — even those who, many of them, who didn't feel able to vote for me — they were cordial and so we continue to have good relations, and [I] will continue to do the best I can," Sessions told reporters immediately after his confirmation.
This was the Sessions' second attempt at a Senate confirmation. His first attempt, in 1986, was for a federal judgeship, which failed after he was accused of racial insensitivity.
Democrats, many of whom have worked with him in the Senate for years, opposed Sessions because of his positions on voting rights, immigration and women's health, among other issues. But their opposition wasn't enough to defeat his nomination, as it takes a simple majority to confirm Cabinet positions.
"Everything he was accused of, I've never seen," said Manchin, the only Democrat to support him. "So I'm basing my knowledge of Jeff Sessions and who I think Jeff Sessions is, and I think he'll be fair and very deliberate of what he does. And I think he'll be very good at the rule of law and administrating it."
Sessions is expected to be sworn in Thursday morning.