Democrats are becoming increasingly outraged as Republican senators continue to delay attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote. Earlier today, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared prolonging the process, which has taken longer than any other nominee’s confirmation, to forcing Lynch to sit in “the back of the bus.”
“Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general, is asked to sit in the back of the bus when it comes to the Senate calendar,” Durbin said this morning on the Senate floor. “That is unfair. It is unjust. It is beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate. This woman deserves fairness.”
After Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation in September, President Obama nominated Lynch the following month. Since then, Republicans have been postponing her confirmation. The Senate agreed to hold the vote in January, after the GOP had taken control of Congress. Her February hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee lasted weeks, as Republicans questioned her immigration stance. Most recently, a vote was expected to take place this week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed it back until after the Senate voted on a human trafficking bill.
Many Democrats suspect that her race and gender play a role in the never-ending delays.
“I can tell you that the [Congressional Black Caucus] is disturbed — that’s putting it mildly — we are greatly disturbed that this confirmation has now taken more than four months to work its way through the Senate,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) to CNN. “The sad thing about it is the votes are there today to get her confirmed. If Sen. McConnell would put this nomination committee report on the floor today, she would be the attorney general by the time the sun sets this afternoon.”
According to McConnell’s press secretary, Lynch’s confirmation is “next on the schedule.”