As expected, U.S. Senators from Kansas and Missouri this week voted on President Trump’s cabinet nominations along party lines.
Voting for former Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general included Republican Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts of Kansas and Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.
Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill voted against Sessions, saying that as a former prosecutor from Kansas City, she understands “the massive power of federal law enforcement.”
“Sen. Sessions’ vote against the Violence Against Women Act, and his vote for torture tactics, are a window into how he would use that power,” McCaskill said in a statement.
Blunt took to the floor of the Senate to admonish those who questioned Session’s motives during the racially-charged debate, saying their votes should only be on a nominee’s record. Blunt was also angry that the confirmation process for Trump’s picks is taking so long.
“You know, you can be wrong, and not be evil. You can be wrong and not be badly motivated,” Blunt said. “You know, elections do have consequences.”
Moran, Roberts and Blunt also voted for former U.S. Rep. Tom Price as health and human services secretary late last night. McCaskill didn’t vote, as she’s in St. Louis for her husband’s heart surgery, though she previously announced her opposition to Price.
McCaskill has also announced that she will vote against Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, to be treasury secretary. That vote is set for next Monday.
Roberts tried to offer some levity during Mnuchin’s testy hearing on Jan. 19, offering Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, a drug used to treat anxiety after his lengthy opening statement that was critical of Mnuchin.
"I’ve got a Valium pill that you might want to take before the second round," Roberts said.
Peggy Lowe is investigations editor at KCUR. She can be found on Twitter at @peggyllowe.