Black lawmaker cites race in delayed vote for AG nominee

Black lawmaker cites race in delayed vote for AG nominee
© Greg Nash

The chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus suggested Tuesday that the Senate may be delaying the confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch because of her race.

"I think race certainly can be considered a major factor in the delay,” Rep. G.K. ButterfieldG.K. ButterfieldDems push back against anti-Pelosi insurgents Dems divided on Trump attack strategy for 2018 Overnight Tech: Black lawmakers press Uber on diversity | Google faces record EU fine | Snap taps new lobbyist | New details on FCC cyberattack MORE (D-N.C.), the chairman, told reporters on a press call.

Lynch would become the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general, but her nomination has been awaiting Senate confirmation for 130 days.

Current Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderHolder defends Mueller: 'No basis to question the integrity of Mueller' Kamala Harris slams Sessions on criminal justice Deputy AG backs Sessions' tough on crime policy MORE is also black.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenate healthcare bill appears headed for failure Talk of Trump pardons reverberates on Sunday shows Trump backers eye GOP primary challenges for Flake, Heller MORE (R-Ky.) said over the weekend that he would hold up Lynch’s nomination until lawmakers come to an agreement on a human trafficking bill now pending before Congress.

But Democrats and civil rights leaders say it is unfair for McConnell to hold Lynch’s nomination “hostage.”

Rep. Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeLawmakers push regulators on how Amazon's Whole Foods deal could affect 'food deserts' Dems announce 'unity commission' members If Democrats want to take back the White House start now MORE (D-Ohio) called McConnell’s move “petty and mean-spirited,” during the press call organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President Wade Henderson called McConnell’s reasoning “flimsy at best."

“We all know that senators can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Henderson said.

“The Senate Republican majority is using every excuse it can find to delay or obstruct Lynch’s confirmation,” he added.