Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) slammed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for delaying a vote on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch’s confirmation until the Senate clears a human trafficking bill.
“If hijacking the human trafficking bill with an unrelated abortion provision wasn’t already enough, listen to this: the Majority Leader is now holding Loretta [Lynch’s] nomination hostage also. It’s hard to comprehend but that’s what’s happening,” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. He was referencing abortion language Democrats oppose in what was initially a bipartisan bill.
Sunday, McConnell revealed that the Lynch confirmation would not be voted on until the human trafficking bill passes.
Democrats, however, have been holding up the bill due to their opposition to a provision restricting funding for abortion.
Reid argued Monday that there are simple solutions to both issues. He demands the majority strip out the abortion language and also allow a vote on Lynch immediately.
“Delay after delay after delay. And now we’re here, in the middle of March and Loretta Lynch has yet to get a vote on the Senate floor. Why can’t we get this incredibly qualified woman confirmed? She’s waited 128 days. That’s the longest any attorney general nominee has waited in some four decades,” Reid charged.
Reid argued that McConnell should hold to his initial promise that the Senate vote on Lynch this week, saying there is no reason why the Senate cannot vote on Lynch’s confirmation and then go right back into considering the human trafficking bill.
“Any attempt to hold a confirmation vote hostage because of this abortion provision is a sham. Republicans really — on Loretta Lynch — are out of excuses,” he said. “This Congress is barely two months old and yet this is just the latest on a growing list of examples proving Republicans simply can’t govern.”