Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said he is ready to fight for Dawn Johnsen if Republicans attempt to filibuster President Obama’s pick to lead the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, Talking Points Memo reports.
Presently, Senate Democrats control 56 seats and generally have the votes of two Senate independents in their caucus. Democrats, however, need the support of two Republicans in order to obtain a filibuster-proof majority.
“I actually have a little bit of ammunition gathered in the event that I happen to be…on the floor defending this,” Whitehouse told TPM.
We previously reported that most Republicans are against her confirmation, with undecided Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) the key vote. If Specter votes in favor of Johnsen, he would provide cover for Republican Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to follow suit.
Whitehouse told TPM that the memos released yesterday could diminish Republican interest for a filibuster. Johnsen is a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s legal policies authorizing torture.
The Senate has not set a date for a vote on the Johnsen nomination.