WHIP LIST: How many Dems will back Sessions?
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The question isn't whether Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Sessions, top DOJ officials knew 'zero tolerance' would separate families, watchdog finds Sen. Hawley tramples the 2020 vote in his run to 2024 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 BaldwinSeven Senate races to watch in 2022 Senate Democrats urge Google to improve ad policies to combat election disinformation Senate Democrats reelect Schumer as leader by acclamation  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 BennetTop Democrat pushes for tying unemployment insurance to economic conditions 50-50 Senate opens the door to solutions outlasting Trump's moment of violence Build trust in vaccines by investing in community workers 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 CantwellHillicon Valley: Texas, other states bring antitrust lawsuit against Google | Krebs emphasizes security of the election as senators butt heads | Twitter cracks down on coronavirus vaccine misinformation Senators press federal agencies for more information on Russian cyberattack New FCC commissioner's arrival signals gridlock early next year 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 CardinGeorgia keeps Senate agenda in limbo Trump signs bill authorizing memorial to fallen journalists Sweeping COVID-19, spending deal hits speed bumps 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 CarperWhite House intervened to weaken EPA guidance on 'forever chemicals' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Capitol in Chaos | Trump's Arctic refuge drilling sale earns just fraction of GOP prediction | EPA finds fuel efficiency dropped, pollution spiked for 2019 vehicles EPA finalizes 'secret science' rule, limiting use of public health research 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 CaseyCapitol Police officer hailed as hero for drawing rioters away from Senate chamber Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Grassley tests positive for coronavirus 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 CoonsSecurity concerns mount ahead of Biden inauguration Trump impeachment collides with Biden's agenda Sanders to wield gavel as gatekeeper for key Biden proposals 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 DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty 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 FeinsteinBottom line Trump vetoes bipartisan driftnet fishing bill Dumping Abraham Lincoln? A word of advice to the 'cancel culture' MORE (Calif.): Feinstein said during a committee vote on Sessions' nomination that "I must vote no."

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots 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 HeinrichOvernight Defense: Trump impeached for second time | National Guard at Capitol now armed, swelling to 20K troops for inauguration | Alabama chosen for Space Command home Space Command to be located in Alabama 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack 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 Kaine'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack 7 surprise moments from a tumultuous year in politics Robert E. Lee statue removed from US Capitol 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 KingBipartisan group of senators: The election is over Overnight Defense: Biden team voices concern about 'abrupt halt' in Pentagon cooperation | Defense chief pushes back | Lawmakers question whether major cyberattack an act of war Lawmakers ask whether massive hack amounted to act of war 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 KlobucharGoogle completes Fitbit acquisition Hillicon Valley: Fringe social networks boosted after Capitol attack | Planned protests spark fears of violence in Trump's final days | Election security efforts likely to gain ground in Democrat-controlled Congress US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots 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 LeahyPompeo's flurry of foreign policy moves hampers Biden start Senior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary Congress unveils .3 trillion government spending and virus relief package 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 MarkeyFive centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote David Sirota: Democrats gave away leverage in forcing vote on ,000 checks Sanders to slow down NDAA veto override in bid to get vote on K checks proposal 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 NelsonGeorgia Senate races shatter spending records Georgia voters flood polls ahead of crucial Senate contests The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots 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 ReedCongress overrides Trump veto for the first time Biden calls for the nation to 'unite, heal and rebuild in 2021' Lawmakers share New Year's messages: 'Cheers to brighter days ahead' 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 ShaheenBipartisan group of senators: The election is over Seven Senate races to watch in 2022 How Congress dismissed women's empowerment 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 StabenowCoronavirus relief deal hinges on talks over Fed lending powers OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Government scientists predicted border wall construction could harm wildlife refuge | Haaland nomination generates excitement in Native American communities | Trump officials wrongly awarded Alaska grant in bid to open Tongass Trump officials wrongly awarded Alaska grant in bid to open Tongass forest to logging: watchdog 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 UdallSenate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes We can achieve our democratic ideals now by passing the For the People Act Haaland nomination generates excitement in Native American communities 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 WarnerConfirmation hearing for Biden's DNI pick postponed The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Senate panel to hold nomination hearing for Biden Intelligence director nominee this week MORE (Va.): Warner said he thinks Sessions "is not the right person to serve as attorney general." 

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenior Democrat says Hawley, Cruz should step down from Judiciary Hawley, Cruz face rising anger, possible censure This week: Democrats barrel toward Trump impeachment after Capitol attack 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