April 16, 2015

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest spent several minutes of Thursday’s news briefing lamenting the delayed confirmation of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, via a scathing critique of an Iowa Senator.

Earnest called out veteran Republican Senator Chuck Grassley as “exhibit A in why it is very challenging to work with Congressional Republicans,” citing Grassley’s reversal on when Lynch’s nomination should have been pushed through the Senate. Earnest said the previous seven nominees for the post waited a total 24 days between them to move from the committee to a vote on the Senate floor, and that as of Thursday, she had waited 49 days. He called it an “unconscionable delay.”

In September, the Iowan said the Attorney General vote shouldn’t be rushed through a lame duck Congress. On Thursday, however, Grassley criticized Democrats for not pushing the vote through when they still maintained control of the Senate.

“That in my mind is an astounding display of duplicity,” Earnest said. “The sad part I think, is that Senator Grassley, particularly in his home state of Iowa, has cultivated a reputation as somebody who is true to his word. And I think the only conclusion I can draw from this astounding exchange is that it’s possible that Senator Grassley has been in Washington for too long.”

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