Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union today that he will not allow the final confirmation vote on Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch until there is a vote on the human trafficking bill. Democrats have blocked the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act from coming to a vote due to a rider that Republicans added on. The amendment, known as the Hyde Amendment, would block taxpayer funds from being used to pay for an abortion. Democrats only noticed the rider after it came out of committee. The bill has bipartisan sponsors and support and passed out of committee unanimously which McConnell brought up.
McConnell blasted the Democrats’ techniques of holding up the bill and said it was similar to how Democrats would not hold votes while they held the majority. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid often did not hold votes on politically sensitive amendments and topics that could cause worry for his majority members at home. McConnell added that, “This will have an impact on the timing of considering the new Attorney General.” He continued, saying, “I had hoped to turn to her next week, but if we can’t finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again. They need to come to grips with this this.” Bash pressed McConnell on his statement and said that this was the kind of gridlock that McConnell had vowed to end. However he responded, “It’s not a threat. We need to finish this human trafficking bill that came out of the Judiciary Committee unanimous unanimously.”