- The Washington Times - Friday, January 13, 2017

Sen. Al Franken announced Friday he plans to vote against President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to be attorney general, saying he has too many concerns about Sen. Jeff Sessions’ past record.

“I am going to vote against Sen. Sessions,” Mr. Franken said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I just don’t feel comfortable that he would protect all Americans’ rights.”

Mr. Franken serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversaw Mr. Sessions confirmation hearing this week, and signaled during the two days of testimony from the Alabama senator and others that he could not support the pick in part because of his record on the Voting Rights Act that aimed to protect racial minorities.

The Minnesota Democrat has emerged in the opening days of the 115th Congress as one of the most consistent critics of the agenda that Mr. Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress are pushing on Capitol Hill.

He knocked heads this week with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas over Mr. Sessions’ record in the confirmation hearing, pressed Republicans to show their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known Obamacare, and shouted his disapproval from the floor of the Senate over a vote that set the stage for a repeal of President Obama’s signature health care law.

“I vote no on behalf of the more than 2.3 million Minnesotans who can no longer be discriminated against because of the ACA!” Mr. Franken said.

Mr. Franken also said Friday that Mr. Trump should release his taxes, saying they would answer a lot of questions about Mr. Trump’s financial background, including his ties to foreign entities.

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