Both the House and the Senate are in session this week, and depending on how things work out, this week may end up being one of the more significant weeks in recent Senate history.
Late last week, Senate Majority Leader Reid moved cloture on several nominations, including the nomination of Richard Cordray to be Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Majority Leader also announced his intention to pursue a Senate rule change that would limit the filibuster opportunities for certain presidential nominations – this maneuver has been referred to as the “nuclear option” because the rule change would rely on an interpretation of the Constitutional powers of the Senate to set its own rules by majority vote, as opposed to the 2/3 requirement in the Senate standing rules. During debate on this matter last week, many Senators expressed concern regarding the potential impact this course may have not only on nominations but also Senate tradition going forward. Later this afternoon, the Senate will hold a rare bi-partisan caucus meeting in the Old Senate Chamber to discuss how to proceed on the issue of presidential nominations.
In addition to the nomination of Director Cordray, the Senate is expected to vote this week on the nominations of:
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