Hostage to the Senate

Hostage to the Senate

The delay in confirming Loretta Lynch as the new Secretary of Justice is breaking a record. The Republican majority is holding her hostage as they demand the approval of a law restricting abortion which also has the possibility to limit U.S. citizenship.

The opposition’s deep dislike of current Secretary of Justice Eric Holder is well-known. However, their eagerness to force their projects through is keeping him on his post and, apparently, will do so for a some time to come.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Lynch’s confirmation would be voted on this week. Yesterday, he said that it would not happen until the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act is approved. While this bill helps victims of human trafficking, it also limits end-of-pregnancy alternatives. Additionally, if Senator David Vitter’s amendment is approved, it would change the constitutional definition of U.S. citizenship.

Lynch’s nomination was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with the vote of three Republicans. But bipartisan support soon vanished on the Republican side, once again revealing the disorder reigning within.

Aside from McConnell and the debate on abortion, other obstacles include senators such as Ted Cruz, who opposes Lynch because she considers President Obama’s executive actions on immigration legal. For Cruz, this is enough to refrain from backing her confirmation. Does the Senator expect that a White House nominee opposes the President’s policy?

All this exposes the difficulties Republicans are having to govern as a majority in Congress. Threats and blackmail abound as much as they did when they were in the minority. Their inflexible “all or nothing” tenet still rules their Party.

Because of this, issues irrelevant to Lynch’s nomination have stalled her confirmation. To these senators, it is more important to show their opposition to abortion than actually helping victims of human trafficking or performing their duty of confirming an executive nomination, which, in fact, had already passed the scrutiny of their colleagues in the corresponding committee