President Barack Obama uses his weekly address to the American people to urge Congress to approve his nominee for U.S. attorney general. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: President Barack Obama on Saturday (March 21) called on Republicans in Congress to "stop playing politics" and confirm his nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, as lawmakers wrangle over a human trafficking bill bogged down in an abortion dispute. "No one can claim she's unqualified. No one's saying she can't do the job. Senators from both parties say they support her. This is purely about politics," he said during his weekly address. Lynch was nominated by Obama for the post more than four months ago. Obama nominated Lynch, the Brooklyn federal prosecutor, in November to replace the retiring Eric Holder as the nation's top law enforcement official. If confirmed by the Senate, she would become the first black woman to serve in the post. The human trafficking legislation had been expected to attract broad bipartisan support, but most Democrats are blocking it to protest anti-abortion language inserted by Republicans. In turn, Republicans have linked Lynch's fate to passage of the bill. "First, Republicans held up her nomination because they were upset about the actions I took to make our broken immigration system smarter and fairer. Now they're denying her a vote until they can figure out how to pass a bill on a completely unrelated issue. But they could bring her up for a yes-or-no vote at any time," Obama said. "Congress should stop playing politics with law enforcement and national security. They should support good people in both parties who want to reform our criminal justice system. And that means they should end the longest confirmation process for an Attorney General in three decades, and give Loretta Lynch a vote."