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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 ButterfieldThe Memo: How liberal will the Biden presidency be? Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP CBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief 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.

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Current Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors First redistricting lawsuits filed by Democratic group On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history MORE is also black.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellManchin, Biden huddle amid talk of breaking up T package Romney: Removing Cheney from House leadership will cost GOP election votes The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden reverses Trump limits on transgender protections 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 FudgeHHS, HUD team up to extend COVID-19 vaccine access in vulnerable communities Iowa governor signs law allowing landlords to refuse Section 8 vouchers Ohio sets special election to replace retiring Rep. Steve Stivers 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.