Senate is Looking at Mid-April to Get to Lynch Confirmation Vote

FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Minority Leader Richard Durbin, of Ill., the second-ranking Senate Democrat is accusing Republicans of putting Lynch's nomination "in the back of the bus." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
FILE – In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Minority Leader Richard Durbin, of Ill., the second-ranking Senate Democrat is accusing Republicans of putting Lynch’s nomination “in the back of the bus.” (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate had two things to do this week — pass a bill cracking down on sex slavery, and vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general — and it did neither of them.

So barring an eleventh-hour weekend compromise, Lynch, who would become the first black woman to serve as attorney general, will wait until at least mid-April before a confirmation vote is held, extending an unusually long wait that Democrats have tried to turn to their political advantage by portraying the delay as tied to Lynch’s race and gender.

At a Wednesday event at the Capitol, female senators and activists framed the holdup as part of a Republican “war on women,” while nearby on the Senate floor, the second-ranking Democrat said Lynch is being “asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar” — an unmistakable reference to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) showed no sign of caving to Democrats’ demands, announcing his intention Thursday to move on to the federal budget on Monday, thus pushing back the Lynch nomination until after a two-week recess set to begin Thursday.

In separate interviews Friday, President Obama and Eric H. Holder Jr., the sitting attorney general, called on Republicans to act.

“This is our top law enforcement office,” Obama told the Huffington Post. “Nobody denies that she’s well-qualified. We need to go ahead and get her done.”

Said Holder to MSNBC, “The notion that we would be here, where we are deadlocked about a woman who is unbelievably qualified . . . is almost inconceivable to me.”

Adding to the pressure to confirm Lynch was Rudy Giuliani, the former Republican mayor of New York who, like Lynch, served as a federal prosecutor.

“Republicans torture Democrats, Democrats torture Republicans, and who started it, only God knows,” Giuliani said Friday, lamenting the confirmation process in a conference call with reporters. “And it’s now become the Hatfields and McCoys, and I think it’s really depriving us of good people in government.”

In this case, the Democrats have in large part tortured themselves.

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SOURCE: Mike DeBonis
The Washington Post

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