02.12.15

Leahy: Senate Should Confirm Loretta Lynch As Atty Gen. … the nation’s top law enforcement officer --

WASHINGTON (Thursday, February 12, 2015) – On the same day the Senate is poised to confirm Ashton Carter to serve as Secretary of Defense, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee postponed a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next Attorney General. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, expressed his strong disappointment at the delay in considering Lynch’s nomination.

“Dr. Carter is receiving his confirmation vote little more than a week after he testified before the Armed Services Committee, and just two days after his nomination was reported to the full Senate.  That swift action is commendable given the importance of the position,” Leahy said in a floor statement.  “However, it is a disappointment that this morning, Republicans on the Judiciary Committee chose to hold over for two weeks another critical Cabinet nomination – that of Loretta Lynch to be the Attorney General of the United States, the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.” 

Lynch testified before the Committee more than two weeks ago, answering questions from all Committee members for nearly eight hours and responding to more than 600 follow up questions for the record. Lynch’s nomination has broad bipartisan support, and the Senate has twice unanimously confirmed her to serve as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. While she is widely expected to be confirmed by the full Senate, her nomination has been pending longer than for any modern Attorney General nominee.

Leahy, who supports the confirmation of both Carter and Lynch, said Lynch’s nomination should not be subject to needless delay.

“I urge the Republican Leader to serve the national interest by scheduling a confirmation vote on her nomination as soon as she is reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 26th,” he said. “She has already waited far longer for her confirmation vote than any Attorney General in modern history.” 

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