According to an e-mail from Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) office, the Majority Leader just filed cloture on seven of President Obama’s nominees, including several nominees to jobs Senate Republicans have promised to allow no oneto be confirmed to no matter who the president nominates. “Cloture” is the Senate’s procedure to break a filibuster, and since Republicans are widely expected not to provide the votes necessary to break their own filibusters on these nominees, Reid’s filing sets up a process that will allow Senate Democrats tochange the Senate’s rules with just 51 votes.
The seven nominees are Richard Cordray lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Fred Hochberg to chair the Export-Import Bank, Gina McCarthy to be EPA Administrator, Tom Perez to be Secretary of Labor and three Democratic nominees to the National Labor Relations Board: Richard Griffin, Sharon Block, Mark Gaston Pearce.
This threat left Senate Democrats with no choice but to move forward with rules reform in order to prevent a joint effort by Republican senators and Republican judges from effectively repealing a network of important pro-worker laws created during the Roosevelt Administration. Thus, the decision by five Republican judges to lash out at President Obama’s actions will have the unintended result of increasing Obama’s ability to govern. Other Republican judges may want to bear that in mind the next time they consider a similar maneuver.