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Finally coming to agreement on an organizing resolution for the Senate will allow for the confirmation of President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, according to a senior Democratic senator.
Although Democrats have technically had the Senate majority since Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn-in to office along with two new Democrats from Georgia, committees have been still running under the previous organizing resolution with Republicans maintaining the gavels.
Senate leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) finally have come to agreement on a new organizing resolution after Democratic Sens Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona both said that they would not vote to do away with the legislative filibuster.
Meanwhile, outgoing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been blocking Biden’s pick for attorney general, federal Judge Merrick Garland, from a confirmation hearing.
Garland previously was President Barack Obama’s nominee for the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. In an unprecedented move, McConnell denied Garland even a hearing for that nomination, which was left open for Donald Trump to fill.
However, with a new organizing resolution, Graham’s obstruction is moot, according to a senior Democratic senator close to Biden, Sen Chris Coons of the president’s home state of Delaware.
“There are many other committees where it would surprise your average viewer to hear that someone, for example, like Sen. Lindsey Graham remains the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and thus was able to block a hearing on Judge Merrick Garland, nominated by President Biden to be our next attorney general. This is ridiculous,” Coons said. “We were in the middle of a lot of challenging issues — criminal justice reform, national security — where we need an attorney general, the top law enforcement official in the United States government. … Hopefully there will be a finally concluded bipartisan organizing resolution today or tomorrow, but if not, I will support our moving forward using 50 votes and a tiebreaking vote by the vice president.”
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