Today, votes on the confirmation of 7 of President Obama’s executive nominees will take place in the Senate.
Update: Cloture vote expected at 11am Eastern
Update 2: Cordray nomination advances. Senate to vote on other nominees now.
Update 3: Other nominees to be voted on “next week or the week after”, per Harry Reid
Update 4 (7-17): Richard Cordray confirmed and sworn in. President Obama spoke from the White House this morning (White House live stream)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was in the audience.
THIS is a BHD:
Update 5 (7/17): Tom Perez nomination for Labor advances on a vote of 60-40.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), has told the Republican minority that if they attempt to block the vote on these confirmations, he will change the Senate rules to only require 51 votes to end cloture on executive nominations.
This is more than in-the-weeds political maneuvering. As Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) stated yesterday, Republicans are attempting to nullify democratically passed laws. For Republicans, elections don’t have any consequences because they can thwart the will of the people, who elected President Obama … twice, by requiring a 60 vote threshold for executive appointments.
Here is what is at stake.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will cease to function when the current chairman’s term expires in August. An agency in place for 70 years whose purpose is to protect American workers will be shuttered.
The Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB), set up to protect consumers in the wake of the abuses that came to light from the global financial meltdown caused by the recklessness of the Bush administration, will continue to be hampered by the lack of a confirmed director.
Senators met last night to try to iron out their differences but they adjourned with no agreement:
A 3 1/2-hour long meeting of all senators ended Monday night without a resolution to the impasse over stalled presidential nominees, bringing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) one step closer to the nuclear option.
Reid said after the meeting in the Old Senate Chamber that there was no deal reached but that talks would continue. Don Stewart, a spokesperson for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), said “discussions will continue” because “a clear bipartisan majority in the meeting believed the Leaders ought to find a solution.”
The Senate will be called to order this morning and the votes will be taken.
Will the Republicans blink? Will Harry Reid blink?
At the end of a three-and-one-half hour closed-door session, no deal was reached on changing Senate filibuster rules. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters, “We’ve had a very good conversation” and added that talks between the party leaders would continue into the night.
Leader Reid has indicated that Senate Democrats may use the “nuclear option” on votes scheduled for this morning. Democrats have threatened to change Senate rules in order to hold a simple majority vote on the nomination of Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Protection Agency, and six of President Obama’s nominees for cabinet and other positions facing Republican filibusters.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) asked for the joint caucus meeting last week after a day of wrangling between Senate Democrat and Republican leaders over how to proceed with seven of President Obama’s cabinet and other positions previously blocked by Republican Senators.
Live at 10am (ET) on C-SPAN2
Editors Note: Feel free to use this as an open news thread.