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Lynch to Say She Wants Better Relations With Congress

Lynch met with Leahy in December. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch takes the hot seat Wednesday morning, she's planning to tell senators that she's aiming for better relations with the legislative branch.  

"I look forward to fostering a new and improved relationship with this Committee, the United States Senate, and the entire United States Congress – a relationship based on mutual respect and Constitutional balance," Lynch is expected to say, according to prepared remarks. "Ultimately, I know we all share the same goal and commitment: to protect and serve the American people."  

That would be a marked departure from the toxicity with which, deservedly or not, Republicans on Capitol Hill have viewed outgoing Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. It's also a proposal for mutual respect that could be important for getting Justice Department business – including lower-level nominees – through the Senate under GOP control, and a Judiciary Committee chaired by Charles E. Grassley of Iowa.  

Grassley has been critical of the way the Justice Department, as well as others in the executive branch, have handled responses to his oversight queries in the past.