Attorney General Eric Holder would stay in office if the GOP won’t confirm Loretta Lynch as her replacement, White House spokesman Josh Earnest claimed Monday.
“He’s going to keep doing [his work] as long as it is necessary,” Earnest said.
The statement was intended to ridicule and threaten the Senate’s GOP leaders, who have promised to hold up a vote on Lynch’s nomination until Democrats allow a floor vote on a bill to curb child prostitution.
The claim is a threat because Holder is widely disliked by Republican legislators.
But it is is also an insult because Earnest describe Holder’s continued stay is a result of GOP incompetence. Republicans have turned the Lynch vote into “a partisan controversy,” he said, adding “it is a reflection of inept leadership.”
Democrats say they are blocking the anti-prostitution bill until Republican leadership removes pro-life language in the bill.
The Democrats’ current blocking tactics match their strategy while they were the Senate majority.
Democrat Sen. Harry Reid used his power as majority leader to block any debates or votes on bill amendments — or even budget proposals — that would damage the poll ratings of Democratic incumbents.
Since Democrats lost the majority in January, Reid is he’s now using the Senate’s filibuster rules to pressure Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to abandon any amendments that would force Democrats to cast unpopular votes.
He can pressure McConnell by uniting his 46 members to prevent McConnell from getting the 60 votes need to start or stop debates.
Without 60 votes, McConnell can’t schedule any votes because he can start or stop floor debates.
In the debate over the anti-prostitution bill, Reid doesn’t want his fellow Democrats to face a for-or-against vote on the pro-life language that bars the purchase of abortions services with federal funds.
Similarly, he doesn’t want his senators to face a vote on the automatic citizenship proposal.
Republican Sen. David Vitter’s birth-citizenship amendment would force Democrat senators to vote for or against automatic birth citizenship.
If they vote to end automatic citizenship, they will anger Latino groups and advocates of illegal immigration. But if they vote to continue automatic citizenship, they’ll possibly annoy swing-voters and make their next reelection race tougher.
But McConnell is fighting back, unlike previous clashes over Obama’s amnesty spending.
Over the weekend, McConnell announced he would block the Lynch vote until Democrats allow the anti-prostitution bill to go ahead.
That’s a tough response, because it pressures the Democrats to debate the anti-prostitution bill.
“What Sen. McConnell is going to have to do is remove the controversial provision,” Earnest claimed.
There’s no legitimate reason to vote against Lynch, Earnest argued. “There has not been a single legitimate question“ about her aptitude for the job, Earnest said twice.
That’s a tall claim, partly because Lynch has endorsed Obama’s assertion that illegal immigrants have a right to compete for jobs held by Americans.
“The GOP’s refusal to schedule a vote on Lynch is unconscionable… [and] unexplained,” Earnest claimed, even through McConnell has repeatedly explained why he’s delaying the Lynch vote.
Earnest also blamed McConnell for the Democrats’ no-amendments strategy. “The fact that Leader McConnell can’t build bipartisan support… is an indication that his leadership is not very strong,” he said.
The delay “is a shame, but it unfortunately consistent with the kind of leadership style we’ve seen from Republicans.”