This morning, Democrats and Republicans came to a consensus on a human trafficking bill that was the main hurdle to holding a vote on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to head of the Department of Justice.
In defiance of their Planned Parenthood overlords, Harry Reid, now exiting the Senate for greener pastures and safer exercise equipment, ultimately caved on the point of contention between the two parties: a provision that would have prevented funds earmarked within the program for medical costs from going to provide abortions. Republicans changed the bill to prohibit any expenditures under the bill from going to medical care, instead shuttling those expenses through appropriations, which are already covered under the Hyde Amendment. Democrats rolled over, probably on the assumption that their abortion-promoting donors would fail to understand the fine print, and now we’re on to the Lynch nomination.
Senate leaders on Tuesday morning announced a deal on a long-stalled anti-human-trafficking bill, setting up a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as attorney general as soon as tomorrow.
“I’m glad we can say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this legislation so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced on the Senate floor.
“As soon as we finish the trafficking bill, as I’ve indicated for some time now, we’ll move to the president’s nominee for attorney general in the next day or so,” he added.
Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said he expected final passage of the anti-trafficking bill “by tomorrow.”
Obviously, this is not a totally incredible development, because this means that the GOP will now haveto vote on Lynch (though, of course “vote” does not necessarily mean “confirm”), and the White House and others will now expect Lynch’s nomination to be rubber stamped.
And while almost anyone nominated for this position would be well in line with the Obama Administration’s view on things, Lynch is particularly problematic, not simply because she has no problem with Obama’s Executive Amnesty program, but because she’s an advocate for civil asset forfeiture, and used the measure to rake in over $100M for the state of New York and the Federal government from defendants. She also had very little to say on the subject of Operation Choke Point, which the DOJ (and Lynch) says is used to target financial institutions who “perpetrate frauds on consumers” but has often been used to throttle industries the Obama administration finds distasteful, like gun manufacturing, by cutting off businesses in those industries from banks and lenders.
Obviously, the Republicans still have the “nuclear option” on the table, thanks to Senate Democrats who wanted to push through a few judicial nominees before the midterm elections. It’ll be interesting to see if they use it.