Q&A on the News

Q: With Sen. Jeff Sessions getting the nomination for attorney general and the Senate gets to vote on the nomination, will he be able to vote for or against himself for the nomination?

—Robert Nader, Sandy Springs

A: In his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sessions (R-Ala.) said he did not plan to vote on his own nomination for U.S. attorney general under President Donald Trump.

When asked by a committee member if that meant he was committed to abstaining from voting on his own nomination, Sessions said, “Yes.”

A vote on Sessions’ nomination was expected on Jan. 24, but has been delayed until Jan. 31 while Democrats review his written responses to questions from the committee. Following the committee vote, Sessions’ nomination will move to the full Senate for a vote.

Q: I read in the AJC that the Senate vote to confirm Gen. James Mattis as Secretary of Defense was 98-1. Who was the one nay vote?

–John Titus, Peachtree Corners

A: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was the lone nay vote against Mattis, a retired Marine general, for defense secretary.

Gillibrand also cast the only vote against Mattis in the Senate Armed Forces Committee, which sent his nomination to the full Senate for a vote.

When Mattis was nominated in December, a statement from Gillibrand’s office said, “Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”

Fast Copy News Service wrote this column; Keith Still contributed. Do you have a question? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).