WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved Eric Holder's nomination as Attorney General, sending it to a full-Senate vote.
The panel voted 17-2 to endorse Holder and the full Senate vote could come as early as Thursday.
The committee's endorsement was virtually assured on Tuesday when the committee's top Republican Arlen Specter announced his support for Holder.
Specter had confronted Holder on issues during the time he served in the Clinton administration at the committee's confirmation hearing 11 days ago.
The senator questioned whether Holder would be politically independent from the White House, recalling Holder's refusal as deputy attorney general under former president Bill Clinton to seek an independent counsel for an investigation of allegedly questionable fund-raising by then-Vice President Al Gore.
He also challenged Holder's account of his role in the pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich by Clinton.
However, Specter and Holder settled their difference during a private meeting later.
If confirmed by the full Senate, Holder, 58, will become the first African-American attorney general in U.S. history.