WH: McConnell's Stalling on AG Vote 'Unconscionable'

Senate majority leader threatened to block it over human trafficking bill
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 16, 2015 1:24 PM CDT
WH: McConnell's Stalling on AG Vote 'Unconscionable'
In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The White House is blasting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for holding up a confirmation vote for Loretta Lynch to be attorney general. McConnell yesterday warned he won't hold a vote before the Senate finishes a human trafficking bill. That legislation hit a roadblock over a provision regarding funding for abortions. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said today it's an "unconscionable delay" that reflects failed Republican leadership. He says it's a sign that McConnell's leadership "is not off to a very strong start."

Earnest is also questioning whether Obama can trust McConnell's word, and accuses McConnell of "playing politics" with the nomination. But the White House won't say whether Obama would sign the bill with the abortion provision included. Earnest says Republicans don't currently have the votes to pass it. As for Lynch, even with the votes of every Senate Democrat, she still needs the support of four Republicans, notes the Hill. (More Loretta Lynch stories.)

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