President Obama is fed up with the congressional stalemate over Loretta Lynch's confirmation vote to be the next attorney general. Despite receiving bipartisan support as the nominee, Lynch has been waiting 160 days to be confirmed — twice as long as the seven previous nominees combined — in a vote delayed by a dispute in the Senate over abortion rights provisions in a bill unrelated to Lynch.
"It's gone too far," Obama said Friday during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. "Call Loretta Lynch for a vote. Get her confirmed." The president also called the situation "crazy" because Lynch, currently the U.S. attorney for New York, is widely recognized as a qualified nominee. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he will force a vote if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) does not do so soon, and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has also urged the upper chamber to confirm Lynch.
"This is embarrassing, a process like this," Obama said. "Nobody can describe a reason for it beyond political gamesmanship in the Senate." If confirmed, Lynch would be the first female African-American attorney general in U.S. history.