By Katie Frates of The Daily Caller
Only one Democrat out of the 46 in the Senate voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as the next U.S. attorney general.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin voted “yes” during the Wednesday night confirmation hearing. The vote ended up at 52-47, with Sessions voting present.
Manchin, 69, is one of the last remaining blue dog Democrats. Blue dogs are southern state Democrats with a conservative voting record. He was West Virginia’s secretary of state from 2001 to 2005, and then its governor from 2005 to 2010.
He opposes Democrats filibustering Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, and he clashed with then-President Barack Obama and then-Sen. Harry Reid. Manchin calls himself “a West Virginia Democrat, not a Washington [D.C.] Democrat.”
Sessions — who has been a senator since 1997 — is taking over for acting Attorney General Dana Boente, who replaced acting Attorney General Sally Yates. The Trump administration fired Yates at the end of January for refusing to comply with Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order suspending immigration from seven Middle Eastern countries that either sponsor terrorism or harbor terrorist. The order indefinitely suspended entrance for Syrian refugees.
Sessions faced a grueling confirmation process, thanks primarily to unsubstantiated racist accusations being thrown around by senators like Cory Booker and John Lewis. Booker once praised Sessions for his civil rights work, and Lewis marched with Sessions in Selma, Ala., to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Democratic senators protested his confirmation Tuesday night and throughout the day Wednesday, particularly after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut Sen. Elizabeth Warren down for violating floor rules.