Politics impedes US attorney general confirmation

Partisanship gets in the way of the Obama administration's nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

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    If confirmed, Loretta Lynch, a high-ranking prosecutor in the Department of Justice, would be the first black female attorney general [AP]
    If confirmed, Loretta Lynch, a high-ranking prosecutor in the Department of Justice, would be the first black female attorney general [AP]

    If there was any doubt that this year is on track to be worse than last year when it comes to US President Barack Obama’s relationship with Congress, look no further than the current fight over the next US Attorney General.

    Last November, Obama nominated Loretta Lynch, a high-ranking prosecutor in the Department of Justice, to take over for departing Attorney General Eric Holder. But as of this writing, she still hasn’t been confirmed by the US Senate because of a bill making its way through Congress that has nothing to do with her.

    Republicans in Congress are trying to push through a bill on child sex trafficking that includes an amendment denying any federal funding for abortions.

    Many Democrats disagree with the amendment saying it has nothing to do with an anti-child sex trafficking bill. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats filibustered it, which basically means they stopped the bill from advancing through Congress.

    In response, Republicans – led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – are refusing to confirm Lynch. On Tuesday, Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, pointed out to reporters the delay between Lynch’s nomination and confirmation has lasted 129 days, longer than the combined wait time of the five previous nominees.

    He called the delay “unconscionable”. Don Stewart, McConnell’s chief of staff, told DC Dispatches he disagrees with Earnest’s characterisation saying Lynch's nomination, “has only been out of committee for a couple of weeks”.

    He lashed back at Democrats saying, “The only thing holding up a vote on that nomination is the Democrats’ filibuster of a bill that would help prevent kids from being sold into sex slavery.”

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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