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Special Event

Senate to Vote Today on Ashcroft Confirmation

Aired February 1, 2001 - 12:02 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

STEPHEN FRAZIER, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush's controversial nomination for attorney general is raising passionate debate at this hour on Capitol Hill. The Senate is expected to vote this afternoon on John Ashcroft's confirmation.

CNN national correspondent Bob Franken has been monitoring developments for us al through the day, and he joins us now live with the latest.

Bob, good to see you again.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to see you, Steve.

And on the Senate floor, we're getting to the wrap-up of the debate, the wrap-up of a debate that has gone on for several weeks, ever since then-President-elect George W. Bush named John Ashcroft, former senator, to be his attorney general of the United States, heading the Justice Department.

That of course has caused quite an outcry among those who are on the left side of the political spectrum, who believe that Ashcroft is so far on the right that he is really unable to administer the laws that he says he opposes so much.

We're going to be looking at the Senate debate right now. We're hearing from Democrats at the moment who are for the most part opposed to Ashcroft. You see on the floor right now Senator Evan Bayh, who is the Democrat of Indiana. He is expressing his point of view about Ashcroft, which of course is one in opposition.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: I rise as someone who shares his conviction that faith-based organizations have much to contribute to the welfare and well-being of our country. I arise as someone who deplores the gridlock of recent years and the politics of personal destruction and yearns for...

FRAZIER: We're going to interrupt those comments on the floor of the Senate and our correspondent Bob Franken.

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