President Obama looks on as his nominee for U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, speaks at the White House on Nov. 8.National Journal

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Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., wants to confirm Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee for attorney general, before January, when Republicans will retake control of the Senate.

"I've not spoken to Senator [Harry] Reid about his intentions, but I would like to see us move forward," Murphy said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union. "I think this is an important post and I think we should have somebody on the ground sooner than later."

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Democrats should wait to confirm Lynch until the new class of elected officials arrives in Washington. "I think it would be in the best interest of the country and the Congress to wait and do this next year under regular order," he said.

Thune noted that it's unlikely that the post of attorney general will be left vacant if Lynch is not confirmed before January. "Eric Holder said he's not going anywhere soon, so it's not like the position isn't going to be filled," Thune said.

He said Democrats should focus on other priorities in the meantime, like passing necessary funding bills and preventing tax increases. But it's unlikely that Democrats will move to decrease taxes while they still have a majority in the Senate.

"It's an important position and one that needs to be filled, and we will give the president's nominee every consideration," Thune said. "But we'd like to do that next year when the new Congress is seated."

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Chris Murphy as a senator from New York. He is from Connecticut.

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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