Loretta E. Lynch’s long wait to become U.S. attorney general ended Thursday, with the Senate voting 56 to 43 to confirm the veteran New York prosecutor five months after President Obama submitted her nomination to Congress.
Lynch is expected to be sworn in as the nation’s 83rd attorney general Monday, according to Justice Department officials not authorized to comment publicly.
Obama said in a statement that “America will be better off” with Lynch in charge of the Justice Department. “She will bring to bear her experience as a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor on key, bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform,” he said.
Lynch is the first African American woman to be nominated for the post, which has taken on a higher-than-usual profile in the Obama administration because of the leading role the Justice Department has recently played in the debate over race and policing across the country.
For Lynch, the time between nomination and confirmation was the longest for an attorney general nominee in 31 years. In the end, the confirmation vote margin was wider than expected: Ten Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), joined the Senate’s 44 Democrats and two independents in supporting Lynch. Forty-three senators, all Republicans, were opposed.
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