Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a potential swing vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee, will support Sessions, a spokesman said Friday. That’s a key pickup, given Flake’s moderate views on immigration and social issues, and his opposition to Donald Trump during the campaign. Then moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) said he would support Sessions as did moderate Republican Susan Collins of Maine, all but clinching his elevation.
If Sessions can clear committee, he’ll likely win a floor vote to become the nation’s top law enforcement official, GOP Senate insiders said. Republicans will likely have 52 votes in the next Congress, and Trump’s Cabinet picks can’t be filibustered because Democrats unilaterally changed Senate rules three years ago to eliminate the 60-vote threshold for most nominations.