White House Calls Loretta Lynch Delay 'Unconscionable'
The administration made it clear Monday that the Senate delay in attorney general confirmation has been "disappointing."
White House press secretary Josh Earnest accused Republicans on Monday of "playing politics" with the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general nearly two weeks after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination.
"No legitimate question has been raised about her aptitude for the job," Earnest said during the White House press briefing, while also praising her track record during her tenure as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. "This is a career prosecutor that deserves bipartisan support."
Earnest said that "there is no Plan B" should she not be confirmed and that Attorney General Eric Holder will stay in his post until the confirmation, which is expected to come after a controversial human-trafficking bill is dealt with, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
On CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, McConnell suggested that the delay was a direct result of a human-trafficking bill that is currently stalled in the Senate. "This will have an impact on the timing of considering a new attorney general," McConnell said of the bill. "I had hoped to turn to her next week, but if we can't finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again."
Earnest called McConnell's move to delay the confirmation "not a good sign of faith," adding, "There is no good reason that she has not been confirmed."
Obama chose Lynch to succeed Holder in November, and her nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee in late February.