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White House Slams McConnell on Lynch, Trafficking Bill (Video)

So much for the Bourbon Summit.  

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest ripped into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Monday, calling his delay of the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general “unconscionable” and blaming him for the latest Senate breakdown over abortion.  

The Kentucky Republican said Sunday that Lynch’s nomination would be delayed if Democrats continue to block a trafficking bill over add-on abortion funding restrictions.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“There is no question that Republicans are playing politics with the nomination of the nation’s top law enforcement official, and it should come to an end,” Earnest said.  

Earnest implied McConnell wasn’t keeping his word on treating the Lynch nomination, and said President Barack Obama agreed to delay the nomination to the new Congress as an effort of goodwill and at McConnell’s request.  

Earnest said no one has found any legitimate problem with Lynch’s aptitude for the job.  

He did, however, say that the White House takes some solace that Eric H. Holder Jr. will stay in the job as long as necessary while Lynch remains stalled in the Senate.  

As for the trafficking bill, Earnest declined to issue a veto threat over the inclusion of the “Hyde” anti-abortion language but suggested McConnell show “leadership” and drop the language so the bill can get out of the Senate.  

“His leadership here in the majority is not off to a very strong start,” Earnest said of McConnell.  

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

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