Decision On Loretta Lynch As Attorney General Might Finally Happen After Waiting More Than 5 Months
Loretta Lynch’s long wait may finally be coming to an end — or so a Republican senator claims. Republican Sen. Bob Corker told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on State of the Union on Sunday that Lynch, set to become the nation’s next attorney general, may finally be approved by the Senate as soon as the next two or three days. Corker’s concession comes after Obama rebuked the Senate on Friday for taking so long to confirm Lynch, calling the Senate’s dysfunction “embarrassing.”
But just because an influential Republican is saying that they may finally give Lynch the nod doesn’t mean they’re over their disdain for the president’s immigration policies, which Lynch supports. Rather, the vote on Lynch will coincide with the passing — or rather bypassing — of an anti-human trafficking bill that Democrats blocked because of an abortion-related provision inserted in the bill. Corker seemed to say that when the bill was finally dealt with, Lynch would be cleared as well.
My sense is, over the next 48 to 72 hours, that is going to be resolved, and we will move on to this Iran issue.
Compared to the amount of time Lynch has already waited, a few more days is just a drop in the bucket. Lynch, who was nominated to replace current Attorney General Eric Holder in November, has waited longer than any nominee since Reagan was president. Her wait is now approaching six months.
Moreover, the reason that Lynch’s wait has been so long has less to do with disapproval from Republicans and more to do with Republican senators’ use of Lynch as a pawn in negotiations with Obama. According to Politico, five Republican senators — Orrin Hatch of Utah, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, and Mark Kirk of Illinois — have openly voiced their support for Lynch. Assuming that Lynch gets the nod from all Senate Democrats, that would make up at least the requisite 51 votes that Lynch needs to be confirmed.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has instead decided to stall. As a ploy to get Democrats to drop their block of the anti-human trafficking bill, McConnell has held up Lynch’s nomination as a means of leverage. According to ABC, a McConnell spokesman said that as soon as the bill advances or the standoff is resolved, then the Senate would vote on Lynch.
Even if the long delay does come to an end in the next few days, Obama thinks the Senate has already gone too far in their antics over the Lynch nomination. He said Friday:
There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it.
But for now, the Senate appears to be putting dysfunction aside, at least so they can move onto the next dysfunctional debate: the Republican effort to thwart Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.
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