Senate Republicans are indicating that this could be the week that the Senate finally votes to confirm attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, after some Democrats have charged that racism is the real reason behind her delay.
While Republicans initially took several weeks to ask her questions, the GOP more recently has refused to hold a vote on Lynch until Democrats agree to a bill to help victims of human trafficking. Democrats have blocked that bill because of language that would prevent a victims' fund from being used to fund abortions.
But late last week, GOP leaders indicated progress on this issue that could lead to a quick vote on that bill, followed by a vote on Lynch.
"I am more optimistic than I have been at any time in the last few weeks," Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said last week. "I just talked to the Democratic leader who told me there are active discussions taking place by all of the key people who can help us break this deadlock, and so I am more optimistic."
By the end of the week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reiterated his promise that Lynch would get a vote "right after we finish trafficking," and said it could all happen pretty quickly if there's a deal on abortion.
"I am optimistic that we will be able to do trafficking in one day," he said. "There is not a huge demand for amendments. As I have assured my friend the Democratic leader and our colleagues, then we will move forward on the nominee for attorney general."
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has an interest in getting past these fights so the Senate can take up a bill to give Congress a chance to approve the Iran nuclear deal, also agreed Sunday that the Senate should be in a position to get there soon.
"I think this is going to be resolved in the early part of this week," he told CNN. "My sense is, over the next 48 to 72 hours, that is going to be resolved, and we'll move on to this Iran issue."
Democrats have been growing increasingly frustrated and angry with the lack of a vote on Lynch. Last week, President Barack Obama said it's "embarrassing" that no vote has been held yet, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he might try to force a procedural vote on Lynch.
At the White House, spokesman Josh Earnest criticized Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for his "duplicity" over the Lynch nomination, then further insulted him by implying Republicans might need to look up the meaning of the word in the dictionary.
And in March, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Republicans were making Lynch sit "in the back of the bus" by delaying her, a comment that Reid seemed to support as Durbin made the remark. Durbin later refused to apologize for saying it.
Any deal on abortion will have to make Democrats comfortable that the victims' fund is no more limited than any other appropriations. Congress has prevented appropriated funds from being used for abortion for decades now, but Democrats fear that similar language in the trafficking bill expand that precedent, something they want to avoid.
If there is a deal there, a vote on the trafficking bill could come quickly, followed by a vote on Lynch. According to The Hill, about five Republicans have said they could vote for her, enough to get her confirmed when added to the 46 Democrats in the Senate.