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Judiciary Committee Advances Monaco and Gupta Nominations

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced the nomination of Lisa Monaco to be U.S. Deputy Attorney General by a unanimous voice vote and the nomination of Vanita Gupta to be U.S. Associate Attorney General by a vote of 11-11.  Under the provisions of S. Res. 27, Leader Schumer may now file a discharge motion on Ms. Gupta’s nomination to place her on the executive calendar.  Ahead of the votes, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, argued that both Monaco and Gupta are dedicated leaders who can restore integrity and independence in the Justice Department, combat domestic terrorism, and address systemic racism.

“As I have noted previously, [Ms. Monaco] has the experience at nearly every level at the Department of Justice. This breadth of experience is rare and arguably makes Ms. Monaco the most qualified individual ever nominated to serve as Deputy Attorney General.  She understands the inner-workings of the Department and is well positioned to boost the morale of the professionals, and she will certainly hit the ground running on day one,” Durbin said.  “Vanita Gupta is an exceptionally well qualified person to be Associate Attorney General… her extensive support from prominent conservatives is not an aberration. It is the natural result of the fact that she has worked across the partisan divide throughout her entire career.”

Durbin also addressed the false attacks that are being leveled against Vanita Gupta.

“I’m struggling to understand the fierce opposition of the Republicans to this nominee. She is extraordinary. She has the support of law enforcement groups that any one of us would be proud to have. And yet, she continues to be labeled as soft on crime or wanting to defund the police, and there’s no truth to that whatsoever,” Durbin said.  

Video of Durbin’s remarks is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks is available here.

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

Today, during the Judiciary Committee’s vote on Vanita Gupta’s nomination to be Associate Attorney General, Committee Republicans did everything in their power to block the vote on this highly qualified and historic nominee – filibustering for nearly two hours and then invoking an obscure Senate rule to prevent the Committee from meeting beyond 12:00 PM.  This obstruction of a nominee with broad support from across the political spectrum left Chair Durbin with no option but to call a roll call vote before the Committee meeting was terminated by Republicans’ invocation of this rule.