Senate Leaders Reach Agreement on Filibuster Rules

July 17, 2013

pic-congress-committeeSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) have apparently reached an agreement preserving the right of the minority to filibuster nominations in exchange for a series of nominees receiving votes this week.

It is expected that the nominee to be director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, Richard Cordray, will be confirmed.  The Senate voted Tuesday by a margin of 71-29 to proceed to a vote on his nomination. As part of the deal, the President is to provide substitutes for NLRB nominees Sharon Block and Richard Griffin.  The issue of the validity of their recess appointment is to be decided by the Supreme Court next term.

The President will reportedly nominate Nancy Schiffer and Kent Hirozawa to the NLRB.  Schiffer is the associate general counsel at the AFL-CIO; Hirozawa is the chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce.  There is little reason to believe that the substitute nominees will adopt positions on the NLRB that are materially different than those of Block or Griffin.