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Jeff Sessions' nomination to be attorney general clears procedural hurdle

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be attorney general has cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate.

The Senate voted 52-47 on Tuesday to move ahead on the nomination. Confirmation is expected on Wednesday in spite of Senate Democrats’ opposition to their colleague. No GOP senators voted against his confirmation. Sen. Sessions cast his vote as “present.” 

Sen. Jeff Sessions defends self, splits with Trump in confirmation hearing

Shortly before the procedural vote, Sessions cast a necessary vote for the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to be education secretary. She was confirmed with a 51-50 vote requiring Vice President Mike Pence to break the tie. 

Democrats have questioned Sessions’ commitment to civil rights, his opposition to many immigration laws and whether he will be independent of President Donald Trump as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.

Sessions was one of President Trump’s earliest and strongest supporters.

Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said Sessions “is probably the most anti-immigrant member of this body, Democrat or Republican. And many of us on this side believe immigrants are an asset to America, not a liability.”

CBS News’ John Nolen contributed to this report.