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The Journal Gazette

  • Donnelly

Thursday, February 02, 2017 10:02 pm

Donnelly to oppose Sessions confirmation

Brian Francisco | The Journal Gazette

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced Thursday afternoon that he will vote to oppose the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., as attorney general.

"I am concerned that the wide range of opposition to Senator Sessions’ nomination from civil rights advocates, including many Hoosiers, will impede Senator Sessions’ ability to work effectively with many communities across the country to carry out the important mission of the Justice Department," Donnelly said in a statement.

"I am also concerned Senator Sessions will support recent actions taken by the administration on refugees and visa holders. For these reasons, I am unable to support his nomination to be the Attorney General," Donnelly said.

President Donald Trump last week ordered temporary bans on all refugee resettlements in the United States and U.S. entry by citizens of seven mostly Muslim nations in the Middle East and Africa.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended Sessions' nomination to the entire Senate on Wednesday by an 11-9 vote along party lines.

Sessions was among the earliest and staunchest supporters of Trump's presidential campaign, and he was the first senator to publicly back Trump. He has consistently opposed immigration legislation that would allow a path to U.S. citizenship to immigrants who are in the country illegally, and he was denied Senate confirmation as a federal judge in 1986 after accusations he had made racist or racially insensitive remarks.