The U.S. Senate today approved Loretta Lynch to be the new U.S. Attorney General despite “no” votes from both of Iowa’s Senators. Republican Joni Ernst spoke with Iowa reporters by phone from Washington shortly before the vote on Lynch’s confirmation.
“After closely reviewing her testimony, I am not confident Ms. Lynch will act independently from President Obama when the role requires and therefore could not vote to confirm her as attorney general,” Ernst said.
Lynch, currently the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, was confirmed on a vote of 56 to 43 — with 10 Republicans voting for President Obama’s pick to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Iowa’s senior Senator, Chuck Grassley, voted against Lynch.
Ernst said she has “serious concerns” about Lynch’s decision to defend President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. “She agreed that it was O.K. for him to use executive amnesty in the manner that he did and because of that, I don’t see that she is operating independently. She is being influenced by the political decisions of the White House rather than relying on current law,” Ernst said. Lynch will become the first African-American woman to hold the position of U.S. Attorney General.