Barr nomination to be attorney general advances in Senate

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Barr promises to protect special counsel

The Senate passed a procedural vote to advance William Barr's nomination as attorney general, kicking off up to 30 hours of debate on the nomination before a confirmation vote will occur. The cloture vote passed largely along party lines, 55 to 44.

Barr, who first served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, is widely expected to be confirmed when the vote occurs before the end of the week. Although Republican Sen. Rand Paul, of Kentucky, has announced his opposition to Barr because of his support for warrantless surveillance, Democratic Sens. Doug Jones and Joe Manchin have said that they will vote to confirm him. Republicans hold a slim majority in the Senate, 53 to 47.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Barr's nomination in a 12-10 vote last week.

President Trump nominated Barr to be attorney general in December, after ousting Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November. Sessions' former chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, was chosen to serve as acting attorney general.

First published on February 12, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.

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