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Durbin Slams Republican Obstruction of Critical Law Enforcement Positions

Committee advances Open App Markets Act; holds over U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal nominations at Republicans’ request

WASHINGTON – In today’s executive business meeting, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, attempted to advance the nominations of two U.S. Marshal (USM) and two U.S. Attorney (USA) nominees.  Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) blocked their advancement.  In response, Durbin called out the dangerous obstruction of these and other chief law enforcement officers by the Republican Senator.

“If anyone—Republican or Democrat—truly cares about preventing crime, as they claim, we should vote on these four nominees today, get them confirmed on the floor as quickly as possible, make this routine to show that we are—on a bipartisan basis—willing to fight crime,” Durbin said.

It is a departure from the Committee’s norms and traditions to hold over U.S. Attorney and U.S. Marshal nominees.  During the four years of the Trump Administration, Democrats held over just three USA and just two USM nominations.  Already this Congress, including today’s request, Republicans have held over two USM and eight USA nominations.

Durbin also specifically addressed the obstruction of the nominee for USM in the Northern District of Illinois, Chief LaDon Reynolds of the Oak Park Police Department, who would fill a position that has been vacant since May 2018.

“I’m honored to represent Illinois.  I’m especially honored to represent the great City of Chicago,” Durbin said.  “But we are in pain and suffering at this moment because of gun violence, and crime, and death… For God’s sake, we have a part in this—an important part in this: making sure there are U.S. Attorneys to prosecute those who are breaking the law, making sure there are U.S. Marshals to administer justice, and law enforcement at the most basic and fundamental level… It’s one thing to give speeches on the floor about how much we respect law enforcement, but then to diss this poor man—who wants only to serve his country as U.S. Marshal—at this moment, at a time of high crime, is just indefensible.”

Durbin concluded, “I plead with members of this Committee: Do not, at the expense of innocent people who are being victimized by crime every single day, exercise your political right and deny law enforcement at the federal level to the people that we represent.  I hope, I plead… don’t hurt innocent people because of your frustration with anything coming from the Department of Justice.”

Video of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s opening statement is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s opening statement is available here for TV Stations.