Senate Democrats Stall Another Vote, This Time For Attorney General

Having already succeeded in delaying the confirmation of Tom Price and Steven Mnuchin, when Democrats boycotted a committee vote which had a minimum quorum requirement, moments ago Senate Democrats succeeded in stalling - if only temporarily - another confirmation when they used a procedural move on Tuesday afternoon to stall committee vote, this time on Jeff Sessions' nomination to become US Attorney General amid last night's controversy in which Trump fired the acting Attorney General Sally Yates for insubordination.

The announcement came after the committee took a break to allow members to vote on the floor confirmation of Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary. When it reconvened, Sen. Mazie Hirono told Grassley that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer intended to invoke the two-hour rule against holding committee meetings beyond the first two hours of the Senate's day, the Hill reported. As a result the Senate Judiciary Committee will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday to vote on Sessions’s nomination, Chairman Chuck Grassley said.

While Sessions has already faced an uphill climb in his confirmation, it got more complicated on Monday night when Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who deemed the president's order illegal and said she would not have Justice attorneys defend it. Trump quickly replaced Yates with Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He rescinded the Yates order and said Justice will defend the executive order.

While Democrats have praised Yates as a "martyr, Republicans slammed the spectacle. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn noted that the Office of Legal Counsel reviewed the legality of Trump’s order before it was issued. “Her job was to do her job or resign,” he said. “I believe Trump was entirely in his rights to fire her.”

In any case, absent some major surprise, tomorrow shortly before noon, the US should have its new, and permanent, Attorney General.