Filibuster deal averts the so-called ‘nuclear option’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Honey Badger, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, has won with the assistance of Senator John McCain. The GOP filibuster of Richard Cordray to head
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was just defeated on a vote of 71-29. Eight hours of debate will follow until a final up-or-down vote.

Michael McAuliff at the Huffington Post reports, Filibuster Deal Averts 'Nuclear Option' As Senators Reach Tentative Agreement:

Screenshot from 2013-07-16 09:15:03The deal, which was negotiated primarily between Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), was described
by a Senate Democratic aide as one in which the Republican Party will
allow votes to confirm the seven executive nominees, provided that Obama
replaces his two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board with
two other names
. Those nominees would have a commitment "in writing"
from GOP leadership to get a vote, the Democratic aide said.

The first vote began at 11:00 a.m. to confirm Richard Cordray to head
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Other nominees will be
considered later on Tuesday.

Getting replacements for the NLRB nominees is, more or less, a
face-saving measure for the GOP leadership
. Republicans had argued that
the nominees, Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, were irrevocably tainted
because Obama elevated them as recess appointments, which were ruled
unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Democrats countered that such taint would have been wiped away had Block
and Griffin received a clean vote by the Senate.

[And would render moot the case now on the U.S. Supreme Court docket for the 2013 term.]

Having the president submit two new names was a way around the
impasse. The Senate must confirm the new NLRB nominees by Aug. 27 or the
body would be made effectively inoperable
, as it would lack a quorum to
conduct business. Since the Senate is due to recess at the start of
next month, the deadline is even tighter.

Under the proposed deal between the two parties, which the Democratic
aide cautioned was "not final yet" as of 11:00 a.m., Reid would also
retain the right to consider rules reform in the future. There are "no
conditions or restrictions on future action whatsoever," the aide said
.
Another aide confirmed that position.

* * *

[B]y Tuesday morning, a Democratic source said that Sen. John McCain
(R-Ariz.) had gathered enough GOP support to push ahead, and Reid
confirmed on the Senate floor during his opening remarks that the two
sides were close. He especially singled out McCain for praise.

"I hope that everyone learned the lesson last night that it sure
helps to sit down and talk to each other," Reid said, allowing that
there were still a couple of details to nail down.

In fact, after the Cordray vote, Senator Reid asked for a recess to allow for discussions to continue util 2:00 p.m. EST.

UPDATE: Senate
confirms Cordray to head consumer-watchdog agency
. From POLITICO, Obama selects National Labor Relations Board replacement picks:

President Barack Obama will nominate Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa to the National Labor Relations Board, POLITICO has learned.

Schiffer is the associate general counsel at the AFL-CIO; Hirozawa is the chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and would be nominated to the seat on the board that expires in 2014.

* * *

The nominees will get a hearing next week, said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Harkin said the two will be approved before senators break for August recess.

“We now have a path forward to having a functioning NLRB for the remainder of Barack Obama’s term and even into the next presidency. So I’m very happy about that. so everything worked out,” Harkin said.

Democrats won agreement to have a functioning NLRB through 2014, including a nominee for a slot opening on the board next year.

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