Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, says the Senate will begin consideration of Loretta Lynch's nomination to be attorney general next week.
Democrats have been pressing for the Senate to act on President Obama's selection of Lynch, who is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, called next week's vote "long overdue."
"I've had the good fortune during my time in the Senate to win some well-qualified nominations for cabinet officers that have come to us from Republican presidents and Democratic presidents," Reid told reporters Tuesday. "But no one I've seen is more qualified in experience, education, background, and character than Loretta Lynch."
Mr. Obama nominated Lynch in November, making her the longest pending attorney general nominee in three decades. If confirmed, she would become the nation's first black female attorney general. She would replace Eric Holder.
Some Republicans oppose her nomination because she supports Obama's actions shielding millions of immigrants from deportation.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved her nomination two weeks ago, with three Republicans joining all committee Democrats in voting "yes."