White House, Grassley spar over Lynch nomination

Josh EarnestBy The Iowa Statesman


The White House hasn’t exactly held back on its thoughts about U.S. Attoreny Loretta Lynch’s stalled nomination to be the next Attorney General, and Thursday, the matter reared its ugly head once again during the daily press briefing with Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Asked about the stalled nomination, Earnest attacked U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), calling the delay “an astonishing display of duplicity” from someone with a reputation of “being somebody who is true to his word.” He then suggested Grassley needed to retire, saying he had been in Washington, DC, too long.

In response, Grassley spokeswoman Beth Levine issued the following statement:

“If nothing else, the White House certainly is good at rewriting history.  The fact of the matter is that when Eric Holder announced his intention to step down in September, Senate Democrats had a 55 seat majority.  If you believe the White House and Senate Democrats had Republicans’ best interests in mind when they delayed consideration of the Lynch nomination last fall, you hadn’t watched how Harry Reid ran the Senate.  It was abundantly clear then – just as it is now – that Senate Democrats’ priorities didn’t include the Lynch nomination.

“In fact, Senate Leadership made clear in the Washington Post last month that their decision to delay the Lynch nomination wasn’t about doing Republicans a favor.  It was about choosing instead to ram through a dozen judges during a lame duck session, contrary to Senate history and tradition.  It was Lynch or judges.  They chose judges, and as Ranking Member Leahy said, ‘I think it was a very good trade-off.’

“Instead of lodging personal attacks against a highly respected senator, the White House would be better off spending time getting their left-wing lobby to drop their opposition to legislative language that has been the law of the land for more than 35 years.  Maybe at that point Senate Democrats would stop filibustering a bill that would help end sex slavery and human trafficking and the Senate could then turn to the Lynch nomination.”

While some have suggested the hold-up in Lynch’s nomination is due to statements she made during her confirmation hearing, however, the delay is actually a Republican response to a Democrat filibuster on an anti-sex-trafficking bill. The proposed legislation contains anti-abortion provisions that Democrats oppose.