Washington: The US Senate on Wednesday (April 21) confirmed Vanita Gupta to serve as Associate Attorney General of the United States, making her the first Indian-American to serve in this role.
According to CNN, the senate confirmed Gupta to be associate attorney general in a narrow 51-49 vote after Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined with Democrats in support of President Joe Biden`s Justice Department nominee.
Vice President Kamala Harris was on hand for a procedural vote Wednesday (April 21) morning in case she was needed for a possible 50-50 tie, but her vote wasn`t necessary after Murkowski, a moderate Republican from Alaska, broke with her Republican colleagues to back Gupta.
Murkowski explained her support for Gupta on the Senate floor, saying she was troubled by some of Gupta`s statements but decided to back her confirmation following a lengthy conversation with the nominee, CNN reported.
“I asked her point-blank, `Why do you want this? Is this worth it?` Because this has clearly been very hard on her as a nominee,” Murkowski said. “And she paused and reflected a moment, and just spoke to how she feels called to serve in a very personal way that I thought was impactful.”
“I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to a woman who I believe has demonstrated throughout her professional career to be deeply, deeply committed to matters of justice,” she added. Gupta has served in Justice Department`s Civil Rights Division under the Obama administration.