Mitch McConnell has caught Democrats between a rock and an abortion rider.
After weeks of Democrats questioning his unwillingness to schedule the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, the Senate majority leader announced at a press conference Tuesday that the Senate will vote to confirm her next week. There's just one catch: Members will have to get past legislation that includes a controversial abortion rider first.
"This is bad," Jessica Brady, a spokeswoman for Judiciary Committee Democrats, said Tuesday.
Not long after agreeing unanimously to move forward with a bill to combat human trafficking on Monday, Democrats discovered the abortion language that had been sitting near the start of the bill. They're now refusing to allow Republicans a final vote on the bill, potentially carrying out a filibuster that could last well into next week.
To get their vote on Lynch, Democrats will have to get off of the trafficking bill. And, so far, Republicans aren't showing any willingness to remove the controversial abortion language.
Democrats are furious that McConnell's top deputy, Republican Whip John Cornyn, snuck—in their telling—a provision into a bipartisan human-trafficking bill that would prevent any of the funds reserved for trafficking victims from being used on abortions or Plan B contracepton (known as the morning-after pill).
Cornyn argued Tuesday that the legislation including the abortion language was posted publicly on Jan. 13. It earned a dozen Democratic cosponsors and passed the Judiciary Committee unanimously without a single Democratic member or aide flagging the abortion language.
It was on page four.