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Dems delay Sessions vote

Senate Democrats used a procedural move Tuesday to stall a committee vote on Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGOP former US attorneys back Biden, say Trump 'threat to rule of law' Biden fact checks Trump on 545 families separated at border, calls policy 'criminal' Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears MORE’s nomination to be attorney general, one day after the growing controversy surrounding President Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim nations led to the firing of an acting attorney general for insubordination.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to vote on Sessions’s nomination, Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes MORE (R-Iowa) said.

The announcement came after the committee took a break to allow members to vote on the floor confirmation of Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary.

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When the meeting reconvened, Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger Senate Democrats want hearing on Pentagon vaccine effort FCC reaffirms order rolling back net neutrality regulations MORE (D-Hawaii) told Grassley that Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerReestablishing American prosperity by investing in the 'Badger Belt' House Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs MORE (D-N.Y.) intended to invoke the two-hour rule against holding committee meetings beyond the first two hours of the Senate's day.

Sessions’s already-difficult path to confirmation was made more contentious by Trump's firing Monday night of acting Attorney General Sally Yates, who deemed the president's order illegal and said she would not have Justice attorneys defend it.

Trump quickly replaced Yates with Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He rescinded the Yates order and said Justice will defend the executive order.

Democrats have fiercely criticized Trump's order and Yates's firing, and said that any vote for Sessions is a vote to let Trump stifle dissent in his Justice Department.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said it took “guts” and a “steel spine” to stand up to Trump’s “seemingly unconstitutional” order, which bars all refugees from entering the U.S. for four months, and bars refugees from Syria indefinitely.

Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen are barred from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days.

“That’s what an attorney general must be willing and able to do,” Feinstein said. “I have no confidence Sessions will be able to do that.”

Republicans, however, backed Trump’s decision to fire Yates.

Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Pollsters stir debate over Trump numbers GOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash The Memo: Texas could deliver political earthquake MORE (R-Texas) noted that the Office of Legal Counsel reviewed the legality of Trump’s order before it was issued.

“Her job was to do her job or resign,” he said. “I believe Trump was entirely in his rights to fire her.”

- Updated at 1:46 p.m.