Senate votes on several of President Obama’s nominees to vital cabinet and agency positions, including Secretary of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members, could come as soon as Monday. Republicans have blocked those and other nominations through Senate rules and filibuster threats.
Thursday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed for cloture on six nominees which in effect will force Republicans to either follow through on their threats to filibuster the nominees or agree to simple up or down votes that could begin to end the gridlock that has held up many of Obama’s nominations.
Reid has said if the Republican obstruction continues, he may be forced to take action that could change Senate filibuster rules concerning nominations. According to news reports, Senate Republicans and Democrats are meeting to discuss possible action on the nominees.
If the NLRB nominees fail to be approved, the board would fall below a quorum on Aug. 1 and no longer would be able to do its job of protecting America's workers.
The nominees Reid filed cloture for are: Richard Cordray for director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection; Richard Griffin, Sharon Block and Mark Pearce to the NLRB; Thomas Perez for Secretary of Labor; Gina McCarthy for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Fred Hochberg to be President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.