Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump
Senate poised to confirm Trump’s attorney general pick
The Senate advanced President Trump's attorney general nominee on Tuesday, paving the way for his confirmation later this week.
Senators voted 55-44 to end debate on William Barr's nomination, more than the simple majority needed for him to overcome the filibuster and ultimately be confirmed.
The Senate is expected to take a final vote on Barr's nomination as late as Thursday, with Trump's pick on a glide path to confirmation. A vote could take place on Wednesday if senators agree to yield back time.
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and Doug Jones (Ala.) voted with most Republicans to advance Barr's nomination.
"He is well-qualified, and I am confident that he will faithfully execute the duties of the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America," Manchin wrote in a tweet earlier Tuesday announcing his support for Barr.
With those three voting for Barr, Democrats would have had to flip seven Republican senators to sink his nomination.
But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was the only GOP senator to say that he would oppose Barr, citing concerns over his views on privacy.
Barr's nomination ran into controversy over an unsolicited memo he sent to the White House regarding special counsel Robert Mueller. Barr, in the memo, described Mueller's probe as based on a "fatally misconceived" theory and would do "lasting damage" to the presidency.
Barr told senators during his confirmation hearing last month that he would let Mueller finish his investigation, that Trump would not be allowed to "correct" his final report and that he would make Mueller's findings public in accordance with the law.