OPIOID SERIES:

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. ButterfieldGeorge (G.K.) Kenneth Butterfield'Diamond & Silk' offer chance for bipartisan push back on social media censorship Live coverage: Zuckerberg faces second day on Capitol Hill Senate passes bill to end shutdown, sending it to House 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 Himpton HolderComey's book tour is all about 'truth' — but his FBI tenure, not so much James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide Eric Holder headed to New Hampshire for high-profile event MORE is also black.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Trump has not invited Democrats, media to state dinner: report 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 Louise FudgeHouse rejects effort to condemn lawmaker for demanding 'Dreamer' arrests Hispanic Dems seek vote to condemn GOP lawmaker for demanding arrests of 'Dreamers' Dem lawmaker: ‘We are seeing the dumbing down of the presidency’ 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.