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There’s not a whole lot Senate Democrats can do to prevent the confirmation of President Trump’s cabinet nominees unless they (or public pressure) can convince a Republican or two to join them in opposition either on the committees with jurisdiction or on the floor of the full Senate. They can delay things a bit, though, and that at least gives them and the public and the media more time to expose and oppose. Sen. Diane Feinstein, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, already delayed the committee’s vote on Jeff Sessions for a week. And now Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used an obnoxious gambit to delay it one day further.

Senate Democrats used a procedural move Tuesday to stall a committee vote on Sen. Jeff Sessions’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 Grassley (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.

When the meeting reconvened, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) told Grassley that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) intended to invoke the two-hour rule against holding committee meetings beyond the first two hours of the Senate’s day.

A one-day delay won’t likely change anything, but considering the Monday Night Massacre only took place about 17 hours ago, it won’t hurt to let the outraged response grow and percolate a little bit.

Rather than take a defeatist attitude, I’d rather focus on something I saw on Facebook this morning:

I’m not saying that Pat Toomey is going to listen to the people who are flooding his regional offices, but I am sure he’s getting some feedback that will at least make him think about the potential consequences of voting for Sessions when he gets to the full floor of the Senate.

You now have one more day to make your senator know where you stand. There isn’t anything more the Democrats can do but give you that opportunity.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at