April 15, 2021

Durbin Calls on Senate Republicans to Support Vanita Gupta's Nomination for Associate AG

Durbin: Gupta has broad bipartisan support across the nation; she deserves that same bipartisan support here in the Senate

WASHINGTON – Ahead of the vote to discharge from the Judiciary Committee the nomination of Vanita Gupta, President Joe Biden’s nominee to be Associate Attorney General, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today called on his Republican colleagues to support her nomination.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin argued that Ms. Gupta is a dedicated, eminently qualified leader who can restore integrity and independence in the Justice Department.  The motion to discharge Ms. Gupta’s nomination from the Judiciary Committee was agreed to by a vote of 49-34.

“Vanita Gupta will be the first woman of color and the very first civil rights attorney to serve as Associate Attorney General.  This historic nominee is also exceptionally well-qualified.  She is a veteran of the Justice Department.  She has a proven record of working across political and ideological lines to uphold the rule of law in a nonpartisan fashion.  I don’t believe President Biden could have picked a better nominee,” Durbin said.

During his speech, Durbin also addressed a few of the false attacks that are being leveled against Ms. Gupta, including right-wing claims that she supports defunding the police.  Nothing could be further from the truth—Ms. Gupta does not support defunding the police and has instead spent much of her career advocating for greater resources for law enforcement, such as body worn cameras and officer wellness and safety programs.

“Vanita Gupta has the support of virtually every major law enforcement organization in the country, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, just to name a few,” Durbin said.  “It comes as no surprise when you look back on her background.  Throughout her career, Ms. Gupta has worked across the partisan divide, forming broad coalitions to get things done when people said it was impossible.”

Durbin concluded, “She’s the right person at the right time. She will bring experience, dedication, and a non-partisan approach to the role of Associate Attorney General.  I urge my colleagues to support her nomination.”

Video of Durbin’s floor remarks is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor remarks is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor remarks is available here for TV Stations.

Earlier this month, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Ms. Gupta’s nomination by a vote of 11-11.  Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer must file a discharge motion on Ms. Gupta’s nomination to place her on the executive calendar. 

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