Pressure Republicans on Loretta Lynch: Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke delivers keynote address at “Women Celebrating Women.”
Photo by Nelson A. KIng

At least two Brooklyn Democratic politicians have appealed to the community to put pressure on the Republican leadership in the United States Senate in confirming the nomination of Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. attorney general.

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District, and New York City Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo, who represents the 35th Council District, have urged constituents to call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to put an immediate end to the long delay in confirming Eric Holder’s successor.

“When I return to Washington [D.C.] next week, I am going to act up because we have to get Loretta Lynch confirmed,” said Clarke in addressing a gala “Women Celebrating Women” awards ceremony on Sunday at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. The event was organized by the Brooklyn-based Progressive Democratic Political Association (PDPA), of which Clarke is an executive member.

“Call Mitch McConnell and tell him that you want Loretta Lynch confirmed immediately,” added Clarke, giving patrons the numbers to call and fax – (202) 224-2541 (T); (202) 224-2499 (F).

“When I return to Washington, D.C., know that I will return with your concerns in my mind and in my heart,” she continued. “There has to be a voice that speaks to communities that go unrecognized.”

Cumbo, who spoke at the same event, called for a revolt across the nation against what is perceived to be Republicans’ stalled tactics.

“We need to have a national uprising for Loretta Lynch,” she said about the first African American woman nominated to be U.S. attorney general. “This [Republicans’ delay] is an attack on all of us and an attack on women of color.”

Last week, President Obama condemned the Senate’s protracted delay in confirming Lynch as attorney general, saying that Republicans were engaged in “political gamesmanship.”

“Enough! Enough!” declared Obama at a White House press conference, stating further that the Republicans’ action was “embarrassing”.

“There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far,” he said during the news conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy. “This is an example of it. It’s gone too far. Enough! Enough! Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed. Put her in place. Let her do her job.”

McConnell had said he would not bring Lynch’s nomination for a vote until senators had passed a human trafficking bill that includes some abortion provisions that Democrats abhor.

But, in trying to mollify the growing uproar, he told the Senate last week that he will consider the vote this week.

“I have indicated, gosh, at least for six weeks now, we are going to deal with the Lynch nomination right after we finish trafficking,” said McConnell on the Senate floor.

Lynch, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, has been waiting for almost six months to be confirmed as the next U.S. attorney general.

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