Last Week In Congress

By: Carolyn Appel

The House of Representatives:

The Senate:

  • The Senate backed down from what has been called the nuclear option: essentially changing the rules by a majority vote (51 votes to pass) to prohibit fillibusters (60 votes to pass) on executive branch nominees.  It was predicted that this change in the rules would not stay limited to executive branch nominees and that the fillibuster might be completely wiped out in a few years.  But, on Tuesday morning, after a closed door meeting of the entire Senate on Monday night, a deal was struck. Seven nominees – including Robert Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) , Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Fred P. Hochberg to be President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and Thomas Perez to be Secretary of Labor – were confirmed.  Senate Democrats have been trying to confirm someone to run the newly created CFPB since the Dodd-Frank bill passed.  Senator Elizabeth Warren was originally up for the post before being blocked by Senate Republicans.  In addition, the deal allows two nominees for the National Labor Relations Board to be replaced by two new nominees who are scheduled to be confirmed before the August recess.
  • For some historical perspective see this article referencing our founding fathers’ opinions on the subject.

In The Week Ahead…

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