Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions urged his colleagues Monday not to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general this week, because she has signaled she supports his executive order on immigration.
“I couldn’t vote to confirm any candidate who supports executive amnesty,” he said on the Senate floor, referring to Loretta Lynch. “The attorney general is a top law enforcement officer in this country — the senior person — and anyone who occupies that office must have fidelity to the laws of the United States duly passed, and to the Constitution of the United States.”
During her confirmation hearings, Lynch said she has read the Department of Justice’s legal opinion on Obama’s executive order, and concluded the order was lawful. And asked by Sessions whether an illegal immigrant has more right to a job in this country than a lawful citizen or green-card holder, Lynch said every person in America has a “right” to work.
“I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country, regardless of how they came here,” she said. “If someone is here — regardless of status — I would prefer that they would be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.” (VIDEO: Munro Challenges White House: Do Illegal Immigrants Have A Right To Work In US)
The president’s order is not lawful, Sessions said Monday, and therefore the Congress has a duty to use its power not to confirm Lynch, who supports his order. “I don’t know what this is,” Sessions said. “But it’s so far from law that I don’t know how to express my concern about it effectively.”
“The Senate cannot confirm an individual … who would support a scheme that violates our Constitution, eviscerates congressional authority,” he added.
Lynch has been waiting unusually long for a confirmation vote — more than two weeks — and barely has the votes needed for confirmation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he will continue delaying the vote until the Senate passes an anti-human trafficking bill, which Democrats are holding up over standard abortion language. (RELATED: Not A Good Look: Human Trafficking Bill Held Up Over Attention To Detail)
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