Heitkamp to oppose Sessions for attorney general
WASHINGTON--Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced Wednesday, Feb. 8, that she will oppose President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as attorney general, declining to break ranks in what's expected to be a largely party-line vote.
WASHINGTON-Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., announced Wednesday, Feb. 8, that she will oppose President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as attorney general, declining to break ranks in what's expected to be a largely party-line vote.
In a statement, Heitkamp said she respects Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, for his "distinguished service in the Senate."
But, she added, "I have serious concerns about Senator Sessions' opposition to landmark legislation in 2013 that protects victims of domestic violence, including protections I advocated for Native American women.
"He has pushed back against voting rights throughout his career. He has supported some of the most controversial provisions of the Patriot Act that create serious privacy issues for American citizens-and in some cases he did not even believe the law went far enough."
Heitkamp, who once served as North Dakota attorney general, also said she was worried that Sessions would be "an independent voice from the president as the job requires, and will instead defend all pieces of the president's agenda without questions-whether constitutional or not."
A Senate vote on Sessions could come Wednesday. Heitkamp's fellow red-state Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, is the only Senate Democrat in the who has said he'll vote for Sessions, who is expected to be confirmed by a Senate controlled by Republicans 52-48.
Heitkamp on Tuesday also joined all Senate Democrats, plus two Republicans, in opposing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose nomination was secured in a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence.