Durbin: “If Senator Vance stands by his campaign promise to ‘fight the criminals – not the cops,’ he’d stop forcing the Senate to engage in procedural gymnastics and swiftly confirm top federal law enforcement officers”.

WASHINGTON – Today, the Seante confirmed Todd Gee and Tara McGrath to be U.S. Attorneys for the Southern Districts of Mississippi and California, respectively. On their confirmations, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement:

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“Mr. Gee’s and Ms. McGrath’s confirmations are a welcome breakthrough in the logjam caused by Senator Vance’s misguided hold on Justice Department nominees. These two public servants will serve with integrity and ensure justice for their respective districts, prosecuting violent criminals and protecting our communities from drug traffickers, gun violence, terrorism, and other crimes.

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“U.S. Attorneys are too important to be used as political pawns. That’s why I offered the junior Senator the opportunity to allow us to schedule roll call confirmation votes, even though it is standard procedure to confirm U.S. Attorneys by voice vote or unanimous consent. If Senator Vance stands by his campaign promise to ‘fight the criminals – not the cops,’ he’d stop forcing the Senate to engage in procedural gymnastics and swiftly confirm top federal law enforcement officers.”

Both nominations advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote. Gee’s nomination advanced on April 20, and McGrath’s nomination advanced on July 13.

Their confirmations are an important breakthrough amid a hold on Department of Justice nominees by U.S. Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH). For decades, the Senate has confirmed U.S. Attorneys by voice vote or unanimous consent after they have been considered in the Judiciary Committee. Before the 117th Congress, the last time the Senate required a roll call vote on confirmation of a U.S. Attorney nominee was 1975. During the Trump Administration, 85 of President Trump’s U.S. Attorney nominees moved through the Judiciary Committee—of those 85, the Senate confirmed all by unanimous consent.

That precedent changed last Congress when Durbin went through this exercisetwice as a Republican colleague refused to allow the Senate to confirm nearly a dozen Justice Department nominees by voice vote—the typical practice. Following one of Durbin’s unanimous consent requests, that Senator eventually lifted his objections and allowed those nominees to be confirmed.

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