Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid threatened Thursday to use parliamentary procedures to force a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general, unless the long-delayed ballot is held soon, according to reports.
“We’ve put up with this for too long. And we’re going to need to have a vote on her very soon that’s created by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell, or I’ll create one,” Reid told MSNBC. “I can still do that. I know parliamentary procedure around here and we’re going to put up with this for a little while longer but not much.”
Any senator can call up a nominee that's been set on the executive calendar. Reid plans to make a motion to move the Senate onto the executive calendar and take up Lynch's nomination, if McConnell doesn't schedule a vote on Lynch "very, very soon," Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Reid, told the Huffington Post.
Lynch's confirmation has been delayed for five months, and Republican leaders have linked any vote to the passage of an unrelated human trafficking bill, which contains abortion restrictions that are likely to be unacceptable to many Democrats. The bill has stalled, so there has been no progress on Lynch's confirmation.
Some Republican leaders have come out in support of Lynch, with 2016 presidential aspirant Jeb Bush saying Thursday that Senate Republicans should allow a vote on Lynch.
“I hope that they get to a point – I think that presidents have a right to pick their team in general,” he said, according to the Hill.
“The longer it takes to confirm her, the longer Eric Holder stays as Attorney General,” Bush added, reminding the GOP that their opposition to Lynch was only prolonging the tenure of an attorney general the party likes even less, Time reported.
Activists allied to Al Sharpton's National Action Network threatened a hunger strike Wednesday unless progress was made toward Lynch's confirmation.
If confirmed, Lynch would become the first African American woman to be the nation's top legal officer.