Obama’s pick for attorney general aims to smooth ties with Congress

Loretta Lynch is sworn in to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on her nomination to be U.S. attorney general on Capitol Hill in Washington January 28, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

(Reuters) – Loretta Lynch, U.S. President Barack Obama’s pick for attorney general, on Wednesday sought to strike a conciliatory tone with Republican senators eager to use her confirmation hearing as an opportunity to air grievances about Obama’s policies including immigration reform.

The approach marked a departure from her predecessor, Eric Holder, an unapologetic liberal voice and one of Obama’s closest allies.

“I look forward to fostering a new and improved relationship with this Committee, the United States Senate, and the entire United States Congress,” Lynch said in opening remarks before a packed hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that included Lynch’s family and members of her Harvard Delta Sigma Theta sorority wearing red jackets.

Lynch, nominated in November, has stirred little controversy in her 16 years with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn and is expected to win confirmation.

Still, Republicans appeared set to take aim at Obama’s November immigration order, which eased the threat of deportation for some five million undocumented immigrants, and at Holder’s time in the cabinet…

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