Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday ripped Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for delaying a vote on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, comparing the move to hostage-taking.
McConnell on Sunday suggested there won’t be a final vote on Lynch until Democrats agree to pass a human trafficking bill that has stalled over a fight on abortion.
“Any attempt to hold a confirmation vote hostage because of this abortion provision is a sham,” Reid said from the Senate floor. “A vote on the Lynch nomination has absolutely nothing to do with the trafficking bill.”
The trafficking legislation was originally expected to get broad bipartisan support, but Democrats have threatened to block it over inclusion of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funds from going toward abortions.
Reid reiterated his call for Republicans to strip the abortion-related language from the anti-trafficking bill. Democrats have suggested that they were misled on the inclusion of the abortion provision.
Republicans, however, accuse Democrats of either not reading the legislation before it was passed unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee or using the bill to pick a political fight.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who introduced the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, suggested Monday that Democrats are trying to return the Senate “to its dysfunctional nature,” which he said existed when Democrats were in the majority.