President Obama showed some frustration with the Senate during a press conference, saying he’s had enough of the delays in Loretta Lynch’s confirmation process. He explained that sometimes the dysfunction on the Hill just goes too far, and this is one of those times.
Obama first nominated Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General on November 8, 2014. Now, almost six months later, Lynch still hasn’t received a Senate vote. Her confirmation process is now the longest since 1984 when Ronald Reagan nominated Edwin Meese for the same job.
According to CNN, President Obama expressed his frustration on the issue during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
“Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing. There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it.”
The Senate has delayed Lynch’s nomination because of a human trafficking and slavery bill according to AZ Central. It’s currently being filibustered by the Democrats who were outraged when an abortion rider made its way onto the bill. Politico reports the new language would prevent funds from a restitution fund for victims from being used to pay for abortions.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has promised that the Democrats won’t let the bill off the floor so long as it contains that language.
Now, the Republicans are hoping that pressure from the stalled Loretta Lynch nomination will give them some leverage in getting the human trafficking bill passed with the rider intact. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has explained the Lynch nomination won’t come to the floor until the filibuster is resolved.
The Obama administration is stuck in the middle, and Eric Holder continues to sit in the Attorney General’s office waiting for retirement. Obama explained at the press conference in an exasperated tone that Lynch shouldn’t be punished because of an unrelated political battle.
“What are we doing here? There’s no reason for it. Nobody can describe a reason for it beyond political gamesmanship in the Senate, on an issue that’s completely unrelated to her.”
Still, some people are happy the process is being delayed, like Texas Rep. Kevin Brady. He told CNN, “I certainly think they ought to have a right to actually examine her positions, her views.”
“You know, the attorney general’s office—which used to be an independent office that actually enforced the law—no longer is that. So I actually think there are reasonable questions on both sides of the aisle about how the new attorney general will handle [issues].”
All sides agree that Loretta Lynch’s nomination will come up for a vote eventually, it’s just a question of who will blink first. Unfortunately for President Obama, both sides can go without blinking for a long, long time.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]