Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2015

Reid Cautions Against Blocking Routine Nominees at Session’s End

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most of the focus of nominations in the Senate this week involves the 10 nominees that Majority Leader Harry Reid has lined up votes on before senators leave for Christmas, but there’s more to the story.

Since the Senate intends to finish its work for the year in the coming days, the Nevada Democrat will also seek to clear a slew of generally noncontroversial appointments by unanimous consent, likely in the closing minutes of the last session day. It also would require consent to hold over nominees pending before the chamber at the time of adjournment for when the Senate returns in January.

Reid told CQ Roll Call in a Wednesday interview that he has a lengthy list of nominees who should be ready for confirmation.

“It won’t be thousands, but you know, it will be scores of people who are ready to move,” Reid said.

He specifically pointed to a number of nominations to State Department posts. Reid previously told KSNV in Las Vegas that he had discussed nominations with Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Look at the calendar. There’s 30 or so … on part of Kerry’s team,” including, Reid said Wednesday, “ambassadors all over the world. Why would they hold these people up? They’ve been through hearings.”

“If there is a particular issue with someone, I can understand that, but to hold everybody up is … we can’t allow that to happen anymore,” Reid said.

That seemed to be a bit of a warning against any senator objecting to the entirety of the more routine nominations package that usually clears without any fanfare by unanimous consent at the end of a session long after most senators have reached Reagan National Airport, although it wasn’t clear how Reid might respond.

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  1. BBWeekly

    Dec. 19, 2013
    8:12 p.m.

    Obviously there won’t be any more unanimous consent on anything, even a Senator asking to go to the bathroom, from here on out. The elimination of the filibuster was so disrespectful of minority rights and the history of the Senate, that the atmosphere is likely to be charged through the midterms.

    • Dodgson

      Dec. 20, 2013
      7:46 a.m.

      I would agree with you except for how the minority destroyed the functionality of the filibuster by using it on everything, including candidates they supported. Its unfortunate that the republicans who were in the gang of 14 to support judicial nominees under Bush turned around and refused to honor the same agreement to vote for cloture under Obama. I’m dismayed that the filibuster was limited, but more dismayed at how none of the longer-serving Republican Senators called shenanigans at the blatant and unrepentent use of the filibuster as it has NEVER been used in our country’s history. I really hope some of the self-same Republicans admit how much they screwed up the normal functionality of the senate and perhaps we can get back to how things used to work.

      • BBWeekly

        Dec. 20, 2013
        10:24 a.m.

        I think that most judges and nominees would have eventually been confirmed, with the exception being the DC circuit court. Apparently that court is of enough importance to Democrats that they pushed the issue, and it is of enough importance to Republicans to push back. Now Senator Reid is in the hospital, so we have to wonder how he will be able to handle the around the clock Senate sessions for the rest of 2014.

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