The U.S. Senate could vote this week on President Barack Obama’s nomination of Loretta Lynch to be the next attorney general, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday.
The vote on Lynch, a federal prosecutor nominated in November to head the Department of Justice, could come now that there is a deal between Republicans and Democrats on an unrelated bill clamping down on domestic human trafficking, McConnell said.
For weeks, Democrats have held up passage of a bipartisan trafficking bill because of objections over anti-abortion language Republicans inserted into the measure.
McConnell retaliated by not allowing a Senate vote on Lynch, who would replace retiring Attorney General Eric Holder, until the trafficking bill passed the Senate.
If confirmed, Lynch would become the first female African-American attorney general, the nation’s top law enforcement official.
“As soon as we finish the trafficking bill … we’ll move to the president’s nominee for attorney general, hopefully in the next day or so,” McConnell said.
(Reporting By Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bill Trott)