About 50 members of the North Carolina NAACP went to Washington by bus on Tuesday to urge Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis to change their minds and vote for North Carolina native Loretta Lynch for U.S. attorney general, but they left a meeting with the two senators angry and disappointed.
“The answers they gave were weak, bogus and deeply partisan,” the Rev. William Barber, North Carolina NAACP president, said after the 45-minute meeting in Burr's office. “They gave no specifics, no good reasons whatsoever.”
Lavonia Allison of Durham, who also took part in the meeting, said the senators reasons were “very weak, very embarrassing.”
“The reward system is totally different for a black female,” she said. “Everything at the top in her professional life. We don’t believe it’s a racial issue but it sure looks like that. Make North Carolina proud!”
Reporters were not allowed to attend the meeting. The two senators left quickly without taking questions before the group exited. They said in a statement afterward that they hadn’t changed their minds.
“Today, we had a thoughtful, thorough conversation with the NC NAACP, during which we discussed United States Attorney Loretta Lynch’s nomination to be Attorney General. While we remain concerned with Ms. Lynch’s stated desire to lead the Department of Justice in the same manner as Eric Holder and will not be supporting her nomination, we are grateful that the group came to Washington to talk about this issue and exchange ideas,” the two Republican North Carolina senators said in the statement.
In the Senate, a procedural vote failed on what had been expected to be a bipartisan bill on human trafficking before Democrats objected to an abortion provision. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is holding up Lynch's confirmation vote until that stalemate is broken, leaving her in limbo and her confirmation delayed longer than any other attorney general in recent history. The vote was to have been this week, but now it’s not clear when a vote might occur.