Missouri’s U.S. Senators did not break party ranks in a near-party-line vote to confirm President Trump’s attorney general nominee. Republicans edged out Democrats 52-47 in support of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama).

U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (left) and Roy Blunt (right)

Senator Roy Blunt (R) touted Sessions’ work on behalf of crime victims.

“When I got to the Senate, Senator Coons (D-Delaware) and I formed the law enforcement caucus. Jeff Sessions is very supportive of that. The three of us worked on extending the victims of child abuse law,” says Blunt. “On issue after issue, Senator Session has stood up for people who couldn’t stand up for themselves. I think he’ll do the same at the Justice Department.”

In a statement from Senator Claire McCaskill (D), she cited two reasons for opposing Trump’s nominee.

“As a former prosecutor, I know the power and essence of the position of Attorney General is deciding who and what to prosecute, and where to put the priorities and resources of the massive power of federal law enforcement. Senator Sessions’s vote against the Violence Against Women Act, and his vote for torture tactics, are a window into how he would use that power. Therefore, I cannot support his confirmation,” says McCaskill.

The Violence Against Women Act is meant to increase funding to battle and strengthen penalties for violent crimes against women.

The nomination of Sessions has been a bitter battle between Republicans and Democrats with issues of race at the forefront. Opponents says his background includes a history of issues involving race. Supporters say Sessions has been unfairly accused of being racially insensitive.