The Senate has reached a deal to move forward its the stalled human trafficking bill.
Once passed, the move will allow the Senate to take up President Obama’s nominee for attorney general Loretta Lynch.
“I’m glad we can now say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this important legislation so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on the Senate floor Tuesday.
“As soon as we finish the trafficking bill, as I’ve indicated for some time now, we’ll move to the president’s nominee for attorney general, hopefully in the next day or so,” he added.
Democrats had been holding up the human trafficking bill due to disagreements over an abortion provision and Republican leadership had tied passage of the trafficking bill to the Lynch confirmation vote.
The deal reached this week deals with the abortion funding issues in the bill the GOP and Democrats sparred over in recent weeks.
“After weeks of stalling on the bipartisan human trafficking bill our Republican colleagues have agreed not to expand the scope of the Hyde language,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Democrats and Republicans have come to agreement on a path forward on this pointless, contrived fight. It also rejects the expansion of the Hyde language to any taxpayer dollars where it didn’t apply before.”
Tying Lynch’s confirmation vote to the human trafficking bill angered Democrats and activists who argue that Obama’s nominee has waited far too long for a vote.
Last week, Obama chastised the Senate for the delay.
“Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job. This is embarrassing, a process like this,” he told reporters Friday during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Renzi.
Lynch is expected to be confirmed by a tight margin with much of the Republican caucus voting against her. Many have pointed to her support for executive amnesty as their reason for doing so.