Top GOPer: Senate Must Wait Until New Congress To Replace Holder

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Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), the No. 4 Senate Republican, on Sunday said that the Senate must wait until the new Congress starts in January to vote on Eric Holder’s replacement as attorney general.

“I do oppose any vote on a successor during the lame-duck session. If it happens, it would be the first time since the Civil War that we’ve had a vote on an attorney general in a lame-duck when parties switched,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Barrasso said that a vote on a new attorney general before January would just be a desperate and partisan move by the Democrats.

“But this shows the desperation and how the Democrats feel threatened that they’re going to lose control of the Senate,” he said of the timing of Holder’s resignation. “And if this happens, this will be Harry Reid’s final act in a tragic play that has been his legacy.”

The senator slammed Holder as a divisive attorney general and said that Americans need someone different.

“We need an attorney general for the people, not a presidential protector and a puppet of the administration,” he said.

“And if they try to do this in the lame-duck session, this will clearly poison the well and will define what we’re going to see for the next two years, the final two years of the presidency of Barack Obama,” Barrasso concluded.

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) countered Barrasso on “Fox News Sunday,” and said that Obama may actually nominate someone who garners bipartisan support.

“As far as the lame-duck session, the last time I looked, we’re still at work and being paid until next January,” he said. “We’re still the Congress of the United States. Let’s see what the president does.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday said that Congress should wait to vote on a new attorney general.

On Friday, the White House dismissed calls to hold off until a new Congress.

“There is a precedent for presidents making important cabinet nominations and counting on Congress to confirm them promptly even in the context of a lame duck session, if necessary,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

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