Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in New York who has been tapped by President Barack Obama to be the next attorney general, has been making the rounds
to meet with senators, and early indicators suggest that she is winning over Republicans.
According to Politico
, Lynch has met privately with a number of GOP senators in recent weeks in advance of the confirmation hearings which will start early in the new year.
"I want to see what happens in the hearings," Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain told Politico. "But I'm certainly supportive."
McCain, Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, and Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer have all met with Lynch privately and are inclined to support her, Politico reported.
"I would say yes, unless something comes up during the hearings," Fischer told Politico.
If confirmed, Lynch would be the first black female attorney general.
But the hearings could be contentious as Republicans intend to grill her about her position on Obama's executive order on immigration and her views about the parameters of executive power.
She has said that she believes the action on immigration is legally sound.
"All I can tell you is that immigration is going to be a big part of it," incoming Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley told Politico. "Not because of her views on immigration, but of the president's action on immigration and the extent of what she feels he's acted in a legal way."
Republicans opposed the confirmation of Sarah Saldana
as director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier this month because of her support of the president's executive action. She was confirmed by the Democratic majority in a last-minute bid to push through presidential nominations.
A number of Republicans, however, including South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have indicated that while they will be looking to examine Lynch's position on the issue, it will not be the sole litmus test for her confirmation, Politico reported.
At the same time, conservative Louisiana Sen. David Vitter
has already said he would oppose Lynch's confirmation based on her position on immigration, believing it would be one avenue to undermine the president's executive action.
"The attorney general is one of the lynchpins to Obama's amnesty plan," he told Politico.
Nevertheless, she has earned respect for her career credentials and she has already been confirmed twice by the Senate as U.S. attorney.
"She's a very pleasant person," Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions told Politico. "And on paper, she has the background that is positive for the job."
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