(Trice Edney Wire)- President Barack Obama has called the Republican block of his attorney general candidate Loretta Lynch ‘embarrassing’ and demanded that Senate Republicans bring it to an end.
The Senate was expected to finally vote on Lynch’s nomination this week. But not before President Obama lambasted the political body on Thursday, April 17.
“Enough. Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job. This is embarrassing, a process like this,” said Obama, briefly responding to a question during his joint press conference with Prime Minister Renzi of Italy.
Though he said he’d seen “some outbreaks of bipartisanship and common sense in Congress over the last couple of weeks,” the Loretta Lynch issue appeared at a stalemate despite her qualifications.
“What we still have is this crazy situation where a woman who everybody agrees is qualified, who has gone after terrorists, who has worked with police officers to get gangs off the streets, who is trusted by the civil rights community and by police unions as being somebody who is fair and effective and a good manager — nobody suggests otherwise — who has been confirmed twice before by the United States Senate for one of the biggest law enforcement jobs in the country, has been now sitting there longer than the previous seven Attorney General nominees combined,” Obama railed. “And there’s no reason for it. Nobody can describe a reason for it beyond political gamesmanship in the Senate on an issue completely unrelated to her.”
Republicans have held up vote on the nomination more than three months while trying to force Democrats to compromise on language in a bill pertaining to immigration.
Obama, himself a former U. S. senator, knows how politics work.
But, “I have to say that there are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it. It’s gone too far,” he said.
Lynch would succeed Attorney General Eric Holder, who wants to leave, but has remained in the office while awaiting Lynch’s confirmation. The attorney general is a cabinet position in the Department of Justice, which serves as America’s top law enforcer.
Obama did not mention the issue of race as being a factor. But, some activists and members of Congress point to a correlation between the fact that Lynch would be the nation’s first Black woman attorney general and the fact that it has taken her confirmation longer than any attorney general nomination since the Reagan Administration.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) joining persistent protests with members of the Black Women’s Roundtable, was clear on the part race plays.
“This is a group of women representing thousands of women, thousands of African-Americans, who are appalled and outraged that Loretta Lynch, a qualified African-American woman, who’s been confirmed twice by the Senate, hasn’t even gotten a date [for a vote] and it’s been five weeks since she was confirmed out of the Judiciary Committee,” said Jackson Lee. “We can’t think anything other than she has been discriminated against.”