Reid rips GOP for stalling on Lynch

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrumpists' assaults on Republicans who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid will help Democrats The Jan. 6 case for ending the Senate filibuster Manchin flexes muscle in 50-50 Senate MORE (D-Nev.) slammed Republicans on Monday for stalling President Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general, which he says has been pending for 157 days. 

“For more than five months, Democrats have been ready to take up and confirm Loretta Lynch's nomination,” he said, adding that “February and March flew by, and Republicans still aren't ready.”

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Lynch was originally nominated by President Obama to replace Attorney General Eric Holder in November.

Democrats, then in the majority, held off on a confirmation vote because, Reid said, Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump shows he holds stranglehold on GOP, media in CPAC barnburner Trump rules out starting a new party: 'Fake news' Sunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate MORE (R-Ky.) said she would receive “fair consideration” in a Republican-controlled Senate in 2015. 

“The Republican leader said that she would receive fair consideration by the Senate. Well, that hasn't happened,” Reid said. “January came and went, and Loretta Lynch's nomination never got a confirmation vote on the floor.”

Lynch's nomination was to come up for a vote in March, but McConnell has pledged to delay it until after senators pass stalled anti-trafficking legislation.

Democrats are opposing that legislation because they say it would expand the Hyde Amendment, which restricts the use of federal funds on abortions. 

Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, said Lynch's nomination will be brought up for a vote once senators complete the anti-trafficking legislation.

"Members are continuing to work to find a way to overcome the Democrats’ filibuster of a bipartisan bill that will help prevent women and children from being sold into sex slavery," he said. "Once that bill’s complete, the Lynch nomination is next."

Lynch could face one of the closest confirmation votes in recent years. Five Republicans have said publicly that they will vote to confirm her. If every Democrat, as well as the Senate's two independent senators, voted for Lynch, she would have enough support to be confirmed. 

Though Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) is currently battling the Justice Department over corruption charges, his staff said during the recess that he will still vote for Lynch.

This story was updated at 4:17 p.m.