Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Senate would delay the confirmation of Loretta Lynch to succeed Attorney General Eric Holder until it resolved a bill that Democrats object to because it contains anti-abortion language.
Before the Senate considers Lynch’s nomination, McConnell wants the Senate to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. The bill, which would establish a fund for victims of human trafficking, had bipartisan support until Democrats learned it contained language that restricted federal funds for abortion. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the bill will not pass as long as it contains the language.
« I had hoped to turn to her next week, but if we can’t finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again, » McConnell said, referring to Lynch, on CNN’s « State of the Union. »
McConnell had previously said Lynch’s nomination would come to the floor this week.
McConnell claims Democrats supported the trafficking legislation when they voted to pass it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but Democrats say they did not know the bill contained anti-abortion language. McConnell is refusing to pull the language.
« A majority of the Senate does not want to take the language out, and all of the Democrats voted for the very same language three months ago, » McConnell said. « Now if they want to have time to turn to the attorney general next week, we need to finish up this human trafficking bill. It’s extremely important to the country. »
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson said on Twitter that there was no reason the Senate couldn’t consider the trafficking bill and Lynch’s nomination at the same time.
No reason Sen. McConnell can’t confirm Lynch this week, regardless of the status of the trafficking bill. Senate can do 2 things at once.
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) March 15, 2015
Lynch appears to have enough support to earn confirmation in the Senate, and Democrats have been pushing Republicans to bring up her nomination.