Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) attorney general nomination has been fraught with partisan politics and gimmicks. Senate Democrats pulled every procedural maneuver in the book to delay a committee vote on his nomination. On February 1, Sessions was finally approved by an 11-9 party line vote to move his nomination to the Senate for a vote. Yesterday, a cloture motion on his nomination passed in a 52-47 vote.
Now, after weeks in limbo, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has been confirmed the 84th Attorney General of the United States in a 52-47 vote.
Sessions’ nomination was to be voted on first after getting the nod by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins (R-ME) decided to break ranks from the GOP on Betsy DeVos’ nomination to be education secretary.Her nomination also passed the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on a 12-11 party line vote. That forced her nomination to be pushed up on the docket.
The Senate GOP needed Sessions’ vote, as the vote on DeVos was 50-50. Vice President Mike Pence who cast the deciding vote, a first in U.S. history, eventually broke the tie.
Sessions and DeVos were seen as some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial nominees. A larger fight would have occurred if it weren’t for former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) nuking the filibuster rules for non-Supreme Court presidential nominees, which allowed cloture to be invoked and nominees confirmed by a simple majority. No doubt that both of these nominees would have been filibustered by Senate Democrats. Given how the :Eft reacted to DeVos’ confirmation, expect the liberal tears to flow again with Sessions.
So, I guess we should say thank you, Harry Reid.