WHIP LIST: How many Dems will back Sessions?
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The question isn't whether Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Democrat stalls Biden's border nominee Garland strikes down Trump-era immigration court rule, empowering judges to pause cases MORE (R-Ala.) will win confirmation. It's how many Democratic votes will he win.

Barring a surprise, Sessions is going to be the nation's next attorney general, as no Republicans are expected to oppose him.

GOP lawmakers are confident that he will be able to easily clear the upper chamber after undergoing a grilling from his colleagues during a hearing that spanned more than 10 hours.


How many votes come from his Democratic colleagues is a bigger question. Here's a look at the key senators who are worth watching.

Republicans opposing Sessions (0):

No Republican senator is expected to vote against Sessions’s attorney general nomination.

Democrats voting for Sessions (1):

SenJoe Manchin (W.Va.): Manchin told Fox News that “Jeff Sessions has my vote. He’s my friend. I’ve built relationships and friendships here.”

Democrats who will not support Sessions (35):


Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinManaging the US dollar to pay for congressional infrastructure plans Duckworth, Pressley introduce bill to provide paid family leave for those who experience miscarriage Senate Democrats call for Medicaid-like plan to cover non-expansion states MORE (Wis.): Baldwin, the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the Senate, said her opposition to Sessions stemmed from a "moral choice" and that she doesn't believe Sessions believes in "our shared responsibility to move our nation forward for all Americans.”

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHow Sen. Graham can help fix the labor shortage with commonsense immigration reform For true American prosperity, make the child tax credit permanent Colorado lawmaker warns of fire season becoming year-round MORE (Colo.): Bennet said Sessions "blocked bipartisan efforts to expand voting rights, protect women from harassment and violence, and reform our criminal justice system." The Democratic senator also accused Sessions of using "fear and falsehoods to derail" bipartisan immigration reform efforts in 2013.

SenRichard Blumenthal (Conn.): Blumenthal said that he did not believe Sessions would be “non-political,” adding that he “failed to convince me that he will be a champion of constitutional rights."

SenCory Booker (N.J.): Booker testified against Sessions noting the “ next Attorney General must bring hope and healing to our country, and this demands a more courageous empathy than Senator Sessions’ record demonstrates.”

SenSherrod Brown (Ohio): Brown appeared to be the first Democrat to formally say they will vote against Sessions. He said he has “serious concerns that Senator Sessions’ record on civil rights is at direct odds with the task of promoting justice and equality for all.”

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellCongress must act now to pass a bipartisan federal privacy law Democrats introduce equal pay legislation for US national team athletes Heat wave sparks historically unseasonable wildfires in West MORE (Wash.): Cantwell said in a statement that she has "concerns that as U.S. Attorney General and our country’s chief law enforcement officer, Senator Sessions will not protect Americans’ civil rights."

Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - 2024 GOPers goal: Tread carefully, don't upset Trump MORE (Md.): Cardin said in a statement that "Sessions seeks to turn back the clock on the values we hold dear and I cannot support this nomination.” 

Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperFrustration builds as infrastructure talks drag Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal Transit funding, broadband holding up infrastructure deal MORE (Del.): Carper said he wouldn't support Sessions, noting that he has a "lifetime voting record that, on balance, is hostile to our country's landmark clean water and clean air laws." 

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Lawmakers introduce bipartisan Free Britney Act MORE (Pa.): Casey said he would vote against Sessions, pointing to his positions on voting rights. He added that Sessions's 2015 vote against a non-binding amendment preventing a religious litmus test for immigrants was "offensive." 

Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsKavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Key Biden ally OK with dropping transit from infrastructure package Democrats criticize FBI's handling of tip line in Kavanaugh investigation MORE (Del.): Coons said on a myriad of issues—including immigration, civil rights and torture—that Sessions has "actively opposed bipartisan efforts to advance justice."

Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySupreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda Republicans fret over divisive candidates Everybody wants Joe Manchin MORE (Ind.): Donnelly said in a statement that he is "unable to support" Sessions, noting he's concerned that the GOP senator "will support recent actions taken by the administration on refugees and visa holders."

SenTammy Duckworth (Ill.): Duckworth, a disabled Iraq War veteran, said “we have a nominee who’s on record speaking up against disability issues.”

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinBiden signs bill to bolster crime victims fund Stripping opportunity from DC's children Progressive groups ask for town hall with Feinstein to talk filibuster MORE (Calif.): Feinstein said during a committee vote on Sessions' nomination that "I must vote no."

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? Al Franken to launch 15-stop comedy tour Democrats, GOP face crowded primaries as party leaders lose control MORE (Minn.): Franked said he cannot support an attorney general "who is not fully committed to equal justice for the LGBT community, minorities, immigrants and women." 

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.): The freshman senator launched a petition opposing Sessions after his hearing, writing "we need an Attorney General committed to equal rights for all, including women, people of color, and the LGBT community."

Sen. Maggie Hassan (N.H.): Hassan said in a statement that she wasn't confident that Sessions "would put the rights of all Americans before the whims of this President."

Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichSenate panel advances controversial public lands nominee in tie vote A plan to address the growing orphaned wells crisis Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (N.M.): Heinrich said he did not have "confidence" in Sessions, noting the attorney general position requires "an unwavering commitment to protect Americans' constitutional rights."

SenMazie Hirono (Hawaii): Hirono, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said she is “deeply concerned about how he would use his prosecutorial discretion to uphold voting rights, protect civil rights and protect a woman’s rights to choose.”


Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats brace for slog on Biden's spending plan Senate GOP likely to nix plan Schumer feels pressure from all sides on spending strategy MORE (Va.): Kaine noted in a statement that while the two worked together on the Armed Services Committee, "I will oppose his nomination."

Sen. Angus KingAngus KingSenate falling behind on infrastructure Hillicon Valley: Senators introduce bill to require some cyber incident reporting | UK citizen arrested in connection to 2020 Twitter hack | Officials warn of cyber vulnerabilities in water systems Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor MORE (I-Vt): King—who caucuses with Democrats—said he could not support Sessions adding "it is never easy to vote against a colleague, and it is not done out of personal dislike or disaffection for him, but out of what I believe is in the best interests of Maine and the nation.”

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBiden signals tough stance on tech with antitrust picks Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for misinformation during health crises | Website outages hit Olympics, Amazon and major banks Competition laws could be a death knell for startup mergers and acquisitions MORE (Minn.): Klobuchar told the Star-Tribune that she will not support Sessions, pointing to his positions on the Violence Against Women Act, immigration, voting rights and freedom of the press.

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act National Guard cancels trainings after Congress fails to reimburse for Capitol riot deployment MORE (Vt.): Leahy told the VT Digger that "there's no way I can support him," adding that Sessions is "supposed to be the chief law enforcement officer, but he talks like he’s going to be Trump’s personal attorney."

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeySenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Equilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Olympics medals made of mashed up smartphones Lawmakers urge Biden to make 'bold decisions' in nuclear review MORE (Mass.): Markey said he will vote against Sessions because he has "no confidence that [Sessions] shares a commitment to justice for all Americans or that he will fight to defend the most vulnerable in our society."

SenCatherine Cortez Masto (Nev.): The Senate’s first Latina senator said that she is “troubled by the controversial and racially insensitive rhetoric Senator Sessions has used in the past, as well as his far-right positions."


Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTom Brady to Biden: '40 percent of the people still don't think we won' Rubio, Demings rake in cash as Florida Senate race heats up How transparency on UFOs can unite a deeply divided nation MORE (Fla.): Nelson will not support Sessions, the Florida lawmaker's office said.

Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.): Peters said in a statement that the attorney general "is responsible for protecting the civil rights of all Americans, and I do not believe that Senator Sessions’ past positions and comments are consistent with carrying out that duty."

Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedSenate panel votes to make women register for draft Senators hail 'historic changes' as competing proposals to tackle military sexual assault advance Overnight Defense: Military justice overhaul included in defense bill | Pentagon watchdog to review security of 'nuclear football' | Pentagon carries out first air strike in Somalia under Biden MORE (R.I.): Reed told a local newspaper that Sessions "has not demonstrated sufficient willingness to push back against President Trump's unconstitutional executive overreach."

Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii):Schatz said he is voting against Sessions because he is not a "leader who can fully commit to protecting democracy and civil rights for all Americans, and build on our country’s foundation as a nation of immigrants." 

SenChuck Schumer (N.Y.): Schumer said he is “not confident in Senator Sessions’ ability to be a defender of the rights of all Americans, or to serve as an independent check on the incoming administration.”

Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenEquilibrium/ Sustainability — Presented by NextEra Energy — Clean power repurposes dirty power CIA watchdog to review handling of 'Havana syndrome' cases Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE (N.H.): Shaheen said she "cannot in good conscience support his nomination. ...It's disturbing that Senator Sessions played a key role in crafting recent executive orders, including the Muslim Ban." 

Sen. Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowHere's evidence the Senate confirmation process is broken Schumer: Democrats considering option to pay for all of infrastructure agenda Democrats closing in on deal to unlock massive infrastructure bill MORE (Mich.): Stabenow said she couldn't support Sessions "because of his record on civil rights and his votes against anti-domestic violence legislation."

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (Md.): The freshman senator is not convinced that Sessions would fight for the rights of all Americans.

Sen. Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Defense: Milley reportedly warned Trump against Iran strikes | Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer killed in Afghanistan | 70 percent of active-duty military at least partially vaccinated Biden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Senate Democrats befuddled by Joe Manchin MORE (N.M.): Udall said in a statement that he would not support Sessions, noting the attorney general must be able to "curb the dark impulses and actions of our president, and must ensure that every American has equal justice under the law."

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOn The Money: Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds | Trump tells Republicans to walk away | GOP sees debt ceiling as its leverage against Biden Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Jan. 6 probe, infrastructure to dominate week MORE (Va.): Warner said he thinks Sessions "is not the right person to serve as attorney general." 

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseKavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law Christine Blasey Ford's lawyers blast FBI's Kavanaugh investigation as 'sham' New York gun rights case before Supreme Court with massive consequences  MORE (R.I.): Whitehouse said he would vote against Sessions because the attorney general should defend constitutional rights and Sessions's "record casts such serious doubt on whether he can perform that role."

Updated: 8:50 a.m., Feb. 3