The Senate will not consider the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general until it moves forward on a stalled human trafficking bill, says Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the New York Times reports. “I had hoped to turn to her [this] week, but if we can't finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again,” he told CNN. McConnell had said he would hold a vote this week on the Lynch nomination. The Senate reached a stalemate last week on legislation that would combat human trafficking when Democrats said they had become aware of an anti-abortion provision in the bill. The provision would bar criminal fines collected in a victims' fund from being used to pay for abortions.
Democrats said they would block the bill until Republicans removed the restriction, which Republicans said was in accord with existing law. It has been four months since President Obama chose Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to succeed Eric Holder, whose outspoken, liberal approach made him unpopular with many congressional Republicans. A spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “There is nothing stopping the Senate from confirming Lynch and continuing to debate the trafficking bill this week, except Senator McConnell's unwillingness to bring her nomination up for a vote.”