WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) along with CPC First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement on the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General:

“Senator Jeff Sessions has a long, alarming history as a U.S. attorney and Senator that is tinged with racism and discrimination. By confirming him for Attorney General, Senate Republicans are elevating his hateful values to the Justice Department.

“As Coretta Scott King stated in her testimony opposing Mr. Sessions’ nomination as a federal district court judge in 1986:

‘The irony of Mr. Sessions’ nomination is that, if confirmed, he will be given life tenure for doing with a federal prosecution what the local sheriffs accomplished twenty years ago with clubs and cattle prods.’

“What was true of Mr. Sessions as a potential judge in 1986 remains true today. As a U.S. attorney, Sessions used the authority of his office to target and intimidate African Americans who were attempting to exercise their right vote. As a U.S. Senator, he voted against vital hate crime protections for LGBT people, and opposed the Constitutional right for women to make reproductive health decisions.

“We know what happens when hate is enshrined in law. We’ve spent generations addressing the wounds of slavery, discrimination, voter intimidation, unequal rights and hate. We’ve seen tremendous progress in some areas, and sadly not enough in others. Where we’ve gained ground, Mr. Sessions often opposed. Where no progress has been made, Mr. Sessions often led its blockade.

“The CPC will oppose any effort by Senator Sessions that echoes his hateful history. We are watching, and we will fight back.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.