After weeks of threatening filibuster reform, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a closed-door meeting with the entire Senate last night. Lawmakers met for nearly four hours to resolve the stalemate over presidential nominees, but expressed a mix of opinions after that meeting. This morning, Senator Reid announced that lawmakers had reached a tentative deal to avoid a filibuster showdown.
The plan requires GOP Senators allow votes on most of President Obama's nominees, in exchange for Democrats replacing two of the nominees for the National Labor Relations Board. Essentially, Republicans demanded that the President give up his constitutional right to make appointments, in order to get the GOP to agree to do their jobs.
After agreeing to this so-called compromise this morning, lawmakers finally began the process of considering stalled confirmations. They started off by advancing the consideration of Richard Cordray, the nominee for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Later today, the full Senate will finally vote on Cordray's appointment, which Republicans have filibustered since 2011.
Majority Leader Reid is expected to call for votes on several other controversial nominees, but it is uncertain if those votes will be blocked by the GOP. Senator Reid had previously pledged to employ the nuclear option, which would bar Republicans from blocking presidential appointments, if they continue to delay confirmations. However, it is unclear if he will keep that promise after giving in to Republican demands on two NLRB appointments earlier today.
Many Americans around our nation are fed up with the GOP's refusal to confirm the President's nominees. They're watching this fight closely, and hoping that Majority Leader Harry Reid won't concede to more Republican demands just get these appointments confirmed.
Listen to The Thom Hartmann Program weekdays 3 PM to 6 PM on WWRL 1600.