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Senate panel advances Jeff Sessions nomination to serve as attorney general

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday advanced the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as President Trump’s attorney general, with a Senate floor vote being his final hurdle before he’s confirmed.

The nomination for the Alabama Republican was advanced out of committee in a party-line 11-9 vote.

This came a day after Democrats used an obscure rule to delay Sessions’ vote, which was supposed to happen Tuesday. Democrats on the committee gave lengthy speeches opposing him, triggering a rule that doesn’t allow the panel to be in session for two hours past the state of the Senate day. Democrats also spent Tuesday boycotting the confirmation votes for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, and Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin.

The night before Sessions’ original vote, the president fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who was appointed by President Obama, after she ordered Justice Department lawyers to stop defending Mr. Trump’s executive order banning new arrivals to the U.S.

Sessions testified before the Judiciary Committee last month where he argued that the has defended minorities and voting rights throughout his career. He also discussed his positions on immigration policy, torture and a Muslim ban.

During the hearing, he announced that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Hillary Clinton and her use of private email servers as secretary of state.

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