Senate Republicans are already complaining, but the truth is that they are completely powerless to stop President Obama from appointing and Democrats from confirming Eric Holder’s replacement as attorney general.
President Obama wants to appoint a new attorney general, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants a quick confirmation vote.
The Hill reported that Senate Republicans are powerless to stop the Democrats from using the lame duck session of Congress to confirm a new attorney general, “But even if, as many predict, Republicans reclaim control of the Senate in the approaching midterm elections, they would be largely powerless to block Democrats from using their current majority to confirm an attorney general before the new Congress is gaveled into session in January.”
Due to Harry Reid going nuclear, a confirmation vote will only require a simple majority for passage, which the Democrats will definitely have during the lame duck session
The timing of Holder’s resignation wasn’t an accident. If Attorney General Holder didn’t step down now, he might have been forced to finish out President Obama’s second term. If Democrats keep control of the Senate, Holder could leave at any time, but the president would face an intense confirmation battle if Republicans controlled the Senate.
Eric Holder resigned now, so that the White House could avoid that confirmation battle.
Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz (R-TX) are already complaining, “To ensure that justice is served and that the Attorney General is not simply replaced with another extreme partisan who will likewise disregard the law, the Senate should wait until the new Congress is sworn in before confirming the next Attorney General. Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced.”
Once again, Sen. Cruz is having some issues with reality. Confirming the new attorney general during the lame duck session makes sense in light of the increased terrorism threats that the nation is facing. Republicans may not like it. They are free to view confirming a new attorney general in this manner as a violation of Senate etiquette, but it is definitely not an abuse of power.
Republicans can throw as many tantrums as they please, but there is nothing that they can do to stop the nation for having a new attorney general by the end of the year.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association