After nearly six months of waiting, Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's pick to be the next U.S. attorney general, is expected to win confirmation from the Senate Thursday. Republicans and Democrats have been at odds over the unprecedented delay of her nomination. Lynch, the top federal prosecutor from Brooklyn, New York, would become the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general, succeeding Eric Holder, the first black man to hold the post.
To watch the debate and the vote on Lynch's confirmation, click here.
The Senate has convened and is expected to go into executive session to resume consideration of Lynch's nomination. Members will engage in two hours of debate, equally divided between a Democratic and Republican designee. When they have exhausted or yielded their time, the Senate is expected to have a roll call vote on a motion to end the initial debate, at approximately 11:40 a.m. EDT.
The Senate would then proceed to an additional two hours of debate on Lynch's nomination. At approximately 2:30 p.m. ET, the Senate is scheduled hold a final roll call vote the confirmation.
On Wednesday, the Senate approved a bipartisan deal on a law that helps human trafficking victims. The Republican leadership refused to bring Lynch's nomination vote forward until Democrats stopped blocking a version of the trafficking bill that tightened existing abortion funding restrictions. The final deal did not change the restrictions. Last week, Obama, who nominated Lynch in November, called the delays on her confirmation "embarrassing."
If Lynch is confirmed, civil rights activists and women's advocacy groups would end the hunger strike launched to call attention to the delay. African-American lawmakers have alleged racism on the part of Republican leaders, who had not raised concerns about Lynch's qualifications for the job. Lynch, 55, has had a long career in law, serving as a U.S. attorney in New York during the Clinton and Obama administrations. She spent several years as a private sector attorney.