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Bush Attorney General Nominee Gets Boost
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Michael Mukasey drew closer to becoming attorney general Friday after two key Senate Democrats said they would vote for him despite his refusal to say whether waterboarding is torture.
The decision by Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein to back President Bush's nominee came shortly after the chairman of the committee, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., announced he would vote against Mukasey, a former federal judge.
"This is an extremely difficult decision," Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, adding that Mukasey "is not my ideal choice."
In announcing her support for Mukasey, Feinstein, D-Calif., said "first and foremost, Michael Mukasey is not Alberto Gonzales," referring to the former attorney general who resigned in September after months of questions about his honesty.
Including Leahy, five of the Judiciary Committee's 10 Democrats had said they would vote against Mukasey's confirmation after the nominee earlier this week refused to say that waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, is torture and therefore illegal.
But with nine Republicans on the panel, Schumer and Feinstein's support for Mukasey virtually guarantees that a majority of the committee will recommend his confirmation when it votes on it next Tuesday.
Leaders in both parties have said they expect Mukasey to get at least 70 votes when the full, 100-member Senate votes on his confirmation. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had said he would not bring it up for a vote without Judiciary Committee action first.
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Given Mukasey's overall position, do you approve of his nomination as Attorney General?
Yes, he's a fair & independent man
No, he's no different than Aleberto Gonzales
This is not a scientific survey,
to learn more. Results may not total 100% due to rounding and voting descrepencies.
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