Tags: John Thune | confirmation | AG | Loretta Lynch | wait | lame duck

Sen. John Thune: Obama Should Wait Till 2015 for AG Confirmation

By    |   Sunday, 09 November 2014 11:54 AM

Congress should wait until next year, when Republicans take control of the Senate before confirming Loretta Lynch as President Barack Obama's replacement for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune said Sunday.

Lynch "will get fair consideration, but there's a process," Thune, who chairs the Senate Republican Conference, said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "I think it would be in the best interest in the country and the Congress to wait and do this next year."

On Saturday, Obama announced Lynch, a prosecutor from Brooklyn, as his choice for attorney general, just one day after meeting with top Democrats to discuss the agenda for the Senate's lame duck session over the next few months.

While Obama has had difficulty gaining confirmation for many of his nominees, Lynch is a relative political outsider who some Republicans are already calling a good choice for the top Justice Department job.

However, many Republicans, like Thune, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah say the confirmation process should not be done by Senators during the lame duck period, which they contend should be used to finalize lesser or emergency matters.

Holder "isn't going anywhere," Thune said Sunday, noting that Holder has all along planned to stay in office until a new attorney general can be named.

Lynch is the first African-American woman nominated as attorney general, and as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, she has a reputation for toughness on terrorism, public corruption, and cyber crimes, reports Bloomberg.

Lynch has served in private practice and has twice served as a federal prosecutor, being confirmed in 2000 and 2010 by the Senate by acclimation. She first served under President Bill Clinton but was not reappointed by President George W. Bush.

She is seen as a Washington outsider with no ties to Obama, but she is close to Holder, who appointed her to head a committee that advises him on policy.


Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told Bloomberg that Democrats haven't decided yet whether to quickly push through Lynch before Republicans take over the Senate.

Also on Sunday's show, Thune, responding to Obama's announcement that 1,500 more U.S. troops will be sent to Iraq and Syria to train the military members there, said he expects that Congress, at some point, will be debating the president's authorization of military force.

Connecticut Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy, also appearing on the show segment with Thune, noted that on Monday, the nation's war clock will expire.

According to the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a president has 48 hours to report to Congress that he has ordered military force to be used in a hostile environment. After that, Congress has 60 days to authorize the action, or it must be stopped. After that, the president can order just one 30-day extension.

The hope is, Murphy said, that when Congress returns to session there will be a full debate, but "a lot of us" will be reluctant to approve Obama's plans to send in more troops.

"Massive deployment of forces is not the solution," said Murphy, pointing out that 100,000 troops in years past tried to train the Iraqi armed forces, but they were "overrun in a matter of weeks."

"If there is evidence that the Iraqis are willing to share oil revenues with the Sunnis, to push the Shia militias, then I think I can support an authorization," Murphy said, but without the political solution, more troops are just a temporary fix.

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Congress should wait until next year, when Republicans take control of the Senate before confirming Loretta Lynch as President Barack Obama's replacement for outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune said Sunday. Lynch will get fair...
John Thune, confirmation, AG, Loretta Lynch, wait, lame duck
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2014-54-09
Sunday, 09 November 2014 11:54 AM
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