03.16.15

Leahy: Lynch’s Historic Nomination Facing Historic Delay

18 Days After Judiciary Committee Approved Nomination, Loretta Lynch Still Waiting For a Floor Vote

WASHINGTON (Monday, March 16, 2015) – The Senate Republicans’ continued delay to consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General of the United States has reached historic levels. As of tomorrow, Tuesday, her nomination will have languished on the floor longer than the five previous Attorney General nominees, combined.

In a floor statement Monday, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) criticized the deliberate and unnecessary delay of this historic nomination, and called on the Majority Leader to schedule a vote for this week. 

“There is no good reason for Senate Republicans to continue dragging their feet on scheduling a vote on Ms. Lynch’s nomination. The Senate can debate legislation and vote on nominations at the same time – and to say otherwise is merely a hollow excuse,” Leahy said.

He added: “This delay is an embarrassment for the United States Senate. Ms. Lynch’s qualifications are beyond reproach. And yet, Senate Republicans continue to delay a vote on her confirmation despite her impeccable credentials.”

The Judiciary Committee approved Lynch’s nomination on a bipartisan vote last month. Her nomination has been pending on the Senate floor for 18 days, and it has been four months since President Obama announced his intent to nominate her. In the last 30 years, no Attorney General nominee has waited longer than Loretta Lynch to receive a floor vote after being reported from Committee. 

The Senate has twice unanimously confirmed Lynch to serve as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in 2000 and 2010.  Her nomination to serve as Attorney General has broad support from law enforcement, fellow prosecutors, civil rights groups, and legal practitioners. She also has a strong track record of prosecuting human trafficking and child rape crimes, an issue the Senate is currently debating through legislation on the floor.

“All Senators who agree on the importance of ending human trafficking also know that it is important to confirm Loretta Lynch as our nation’s top law enforcement officer. She has a proven track record of prosecuting human trafficking and child rape crimes,” Leahy said.  “It is time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to confirm this outstanding woman to be the next Attorney General. I call on all Senate Republicans to allow a vote on her confirmation today.”

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