The U.S Senate voted to invoke cloture on William Barr’s nomination for Attorney General on Tuesday by a comfortable margin of 55-44. The vote sets Barr up to be confirmed.
Rand Paul voted no on cloture, citing Barr’s stances on government surveillance and the Fourth Amendment. Democrats Kyrsten Sinema, Doug Jones, and Joe Manchin voted yes, suggesting a strong possibility they’ll go on to vote yes for Barr’s final confirmation vote.
The vote will likely be held later this week.
Barr has previously served as U.S Attorney General in the administration of George H.W Bush. His connection to the Bush family has been a cause for concern among some Trump supporters and conservatives, but there’s also cause for optimism upon examining his track record.
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Barr has supported Jeff Session’s asylum and immigration law reforms, which are crucial to deterring illegal migration. Center for Immigration Studies Director Mark Krikorian told Big League Politics that Barr’s track record on the issue in the first Bush administration was good, describing himself as cautiously optimistic.
Barr’s potential confirmation also could implement an Attorney General fully independent of the Mueller-Russia probe. Jeff Sessions recused himself of any oversight of Robert Mueller’s investigation, allowing the former FBI director to run wild with what many have called prosecutorial misconduct.
Barr has been critical of the Mueller probe’s open-ended and overtly political investigation, describing a need for appropriate law enforcement oversight of the operation. He warned that Mueller risked “taking on the look of an entirely political operation to overthrow the president.”
Barr would take over for current interim Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.