Loretta Lynch Supporters Launch Hunger Strike Over Delayed Attorney General Vote
It’s been over five months — yes, five — since Loretta Lynch was nominated for Attorney General and the Senate Republicans still refuse to confirm her as the highest-ranking official of the U.S. Department of Justice. The public’s response? It’s time for a hunger strike.
Al Sharpton’s group, the National Action Network, and other female civil rights leaders, have chosen to band together to support Lynch by choosing not to eat until lawmakers confirm her as Attorney General. The movement has been dubbed the “Confirm Loretta Lynch Fast,” Politico reports.
“We stand with Loretta Lynch and are so in support of this cause that we are willing to sacrifice our daily meals to impress upon the U.S. Senate that it’s time to call a vote,” said Janaye Ingram, executive director of the group.
The Chicago Defender called the delay “ridiculous” — the average wait time for an Attorney General confirmation is only 31 days. Loretta Lynch, on the other hand, twiddled her thumbs for almost 160 days. This is the longest wait in 31 years.
“As long as the Senate refuses to take fifteen minutes to confirm someone for Attorney General that they have already confirmed twice for U.S. Attorney, [National Action Network] and our allies will do everything in our power to draw attention to this…” Mr. Sharpton said in a statement, according to Washington Times.
So why on earth is the Senate taking eons to confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General? As Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) controls the schedule — and he is using Lynch as leverage to force Democrats to accept contentious anti-abortion language in a trafficking bill he wants passed.
The bill, called Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, had bipartisan support before — until the Democrats discovered a provision that restricted federal funds for abortion, the Huffington Post said.
“A majority of the Senate does not want to take the language out, and all of the Democrats voted for the very same language three months ago,” McConnell said, according to HuffPo. “Now if they want to have time to turn to the attorney general…we need to finish up this human trafficking bill. It’s extremely important to the country.”
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had some choice words for McConnell: “Senator McConnell should keep his word and bring Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch up for a vote… By continuing to stall Lynch’s nomination Republicans are failing yet another basic test of their ability to govern.”
So yeah — Lynch is still in political limbo over a silly little tussle over a trafficking bill.
It is, as Sharpton said, “completely unfair and unnecessary delay to vote to confirm Loretta Lynch.”
Will you join the hunger strike?