Fifth GOP senator says he’ll back AG nominee

Fifth GOP senator says he’ll back AG nominee
© Greg Nash

A fifth Republican senator is throwing his support behind attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, seemingly giving the New York prosecutor the necessary votes for confirmation.

Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkDuckworth announces reelection bid Brave new world: Why we need a Senate Human Rights Commission  Senate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls MORE (R-Ill.), who is up for reelection in 2016, announced Thursday he will vote to confirm Lynch, even though the majority of Republicans are expected to vote against President Obama’s pick to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderWith extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one The Memo: Democrats may rue pursuit of Bannon Ben Affleck, Tracee Ellis Ross join anti-gerrymandering fundraiser with Clinton, Holder MORE.

“I am confident from my conversation with Loretta Lynch that she will be a valuable partner in confronting the gang violence that is robbing families of their children every day in Chicago,” Kirk said in a statement. "We need the help of the Attorney General to fight gangs of national significance through federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and to address organized crime like drug and child sex trafficking.”

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Many Republicans are critical of Lynch’s support for Obama’s controversial immigration policies.

But Kirk’s ringing endorsement gives Lynch at least five Republican supporters, which should be enough for her to be confirmed. Kirk is a top Democratic target in 2016, and he will need a lot of Democratic support to win a second term in the upper chamber.

The other Republican senators who have indicated they will vote for Lynch include Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears MORE (Utah), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeRubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees Senate confirms Thomas Nides as US ambassador to Israel Flake, Cindy McCain among latest Biden ambassadors confirmed after delay MORE (Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (S.C.) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Real relief from high gas prices The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden to announce increased measures for omicron MORE (Maine).

Meanwhile, Lynch enjoys seemingly universal support from Democrats. Assuming every senator from the president’s party — and the two independents, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan Sanders urges Biden to delay Medicare premium hike linked to Alzheimer's drug MORE (Vt.) and Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (Maine) — votes for Lynch, she only needs four Republican backers to win confirmation.

But the Justice Department’s indictment of Sen. Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Spending bill faces Senate scramble Republicans raise concerns over Biden's nominee for ambassador to Germany MORE (D-N.J.) could force Democrats to go searching for another Republican backer, were he to recuse himself from the vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocrats livid over GOP's COVID-19 attacks on Biden US could default within weeks absent action on debt limit: analysis The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE (R-Ky.) has delayed her vote over the last few weeks, but is expected to bring the matter up for a vote after the Senate returns from its recess later this month.