Why is Loretta Lynch’s confirmation vote taking so long?

President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to serve as the next U.S. attorney general 122 days ago, but Republicans have been holding up a confirmation vote in…

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 28, 2015. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to serve as the next U.S. attorney general 122 days ago, but Republicans have been holding up a confirmation vote in the Senate over a key issue: Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Lynch expressed support for the president’s move on immigration during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January. She told committee members that she read the Justice Department’s legal analysis of Obama’s new immigration policies and thought it was “reasonable.”

“I don’t see any reason to doubt the reasonableness of those views,” she said.

Democrats are now accusing Republicans of delaying Lynch’s confirmation vote because of her stance on Obama’s executive actions on immigration. They note 122 days is the longest any attorney general nominee has had to wait for a confirmation vote in the last three decades.

SEE ALSO: Loretta Lynch is top candidate to replace Eric Holder as attorney general

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) described Lynch as “a tough crime fighter” and said a vote over her attorney general nomination should come “as soon as possible.”

“Whatever the case, whatever the crime, Loretta Lynch has protected the innocent and fought the guilty,” Reid said. “She has been exemplary in defending the interests of the United States and its people. She is the ideal candidate to be America’s top law enforcement officer. That’s why President Obama nominated her 122 days ago.”

Reid also said Lynch “is as qualified a candidate as I have seen.” He praised Lynch for her experience as U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York and spoke about how she has “vigorously prosecuted drug dealers and violent criminals, corrupt politicians and greedy Wall Street Banks.”

Lynch cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote last month, sending her nomination to the full Senate for a final vote. After repeated calls to allow a vote on Lynch’s nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday a vote will come next week.

If confirmed, Lynch would become the first African American woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and would succeed Eric Holder, who was the nation’s first African American attorney general.

SEE ALSO: What did Loretta Lynch say on immigration that has people talking?

Some Republicans, however, say they won’t support Lynch’s confirmation because of her stance on Obama’s executive actions on immigration. That includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.).

In an op-ed published by Politico last month, Cruz said he wanted to support Lynch’s nomination given her “reputation as a relatively no-nonsense prosecutor.” However, he said the answers Lynch gave during her confirmation hearings led him to change his mind.

He criticized Lynch for having “extreme, radical positions” on Obama’s executive actions on immigration orders and other issues.

“Senate Republicans have the power to stop this nomination. And we have a choice,” Cruz wrote in his op-ed. “We can honor our oaths to the Constitution—we can defend liberty and the rule of law—or we can confirm an attorney general who has candidly admitted she will impose no limits on the President whatsoever.”

Meanwhile, Democrats say it is absurd that Republicans have made this about Lynch’s stance on Obama’s executive actions on immigration, rather than on her qualifications and record as federal prosecutor. Still, they say they’re hopeful they’ll reach the 51 votes necessary to confirm Lynch as the next attorney general.

SEE ALSO: Jeb Bush confronted over his stance on Obama’s immigration actions

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