Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bob Corker (R-TN) say they will opposed President Obama’s attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch.
“I will vote against President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general of the United States,” Alexander said in a statement.
He explained that he intends to use his vote against Lynch to protest Obama’s executive amnesty.
“This is an opportunity, within the Senate rules, to express my disapproval of the president’s abuse of executive authority, and it’s an opportunity I intend to take,” he said.
Corker voiced concern that Lynch would not be independent enough within the administration.
“The job of the U.S. attorney general is to enforce federal laws as written, not as the administration wishes they were written,” Corker said.
Corker added that although he is impressed by Lynch’s resume, he cannot support her.
“While I believe Ms. Lynch is an impressive attorney and a committed public servant, nothing revealed during our personal meeting or at her confirmation hearing has assured me that she will be an independent attorney general and refrain from selective enforcement of the law, and therefore I will not be supporting her confirmation,” he said.
Lynch’s nomination vote, with only four Republican senators so far signaling they will vote for her, is shaping up to be incredibly tight.
Alexander noted that he supports the idea that Lynch be confirmed by a majority vote, rather than the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
The confirmation “should be decided by a majority vote of senators, as cabinet nominations have been decided throughout the history of the Senate,” he said.
If the entire Democratic caucus and the four Republicans support Lynch, Vice President Joe Biden would need to cast the deciding 51st vote, which would find Lynch squeaking by.
The Republicans who have offered support so far include three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who voted yes in committee: Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Susan Collins (R-ME).