Loretta Lynch's nearly stalled attorney general nomination is becoming rallying cry for liberals who say Republicans are purposefully delaying a vote.
Some black leaders suggested Tuesday Lynch's race could be playing a role in the delay of her confirmation.
President Barack Obama nominated Lynch, who would be the first African-American woman to lead the Justice Department, in November.
"Never ever did we expect that it would take four months in order to get this done. So then one must wonder, what are the reasons? I think race certainly can be considered as a major factor in the reason for this delay, but it's also the irrationality of the new Republicans," said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, head of the Congressional Black Caucus, on a conference call Tuesday. Butterfield said the GOP has been influenced by its "extreme Tea Party right wing."