Thanks to a last-minute deal, the Senate will not go nuclear. Hurrah! Saved until the next filibuster crisis! Which will probably be next Thursday or something. In return for Republican agreement to finally confirm five nominees they’ve been blocking FOR EVER, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not try to eliminate the filibuster for executive-branch appointments, and also has to let Republicans sit at the good table in the Senate cafeteria for the next month.
The deal allows several disputed nominees to actually take their jobs, including Richard Cordray, who will be confirmed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after being blocked for over a year by Republicans, who had deep concerns about his qualifications — hahaha, not really, they just hate the very existence of the agency and refused to confirm Cordray to be jerks about it.
Reid credited John McCain as the star of the compromise:
“John McCain is the reason we’re at the point we are. This is all directed toward John McCain from me. No one was able to break through but for him, and he does it at his own peril,” Reid said. “I think it is going to be something that is good for the Senate. It is a compromise, and I think we get what we want, they get what they want. Not a bad deal.”
That’s twice this week that John McCain has done something that didn’t suck. Must be thinking about retirement?
In exchange for the confirmations, Republicans get to feel very special about blocking Sharon Block and Richard Griffin Jr., two appointees to the National Labor Relations Board who had been named during a disputed recess appointment that Republicans say was NOT REALLY A RECESS because they left a note in the Capitol saying “Still In Session.” Instead, President Obama will appoint two new people, who the Senate will vote on in August, they pinkie-swear they will.
In addition to getting Cordray at Consumer Financial Protection, Obama will have appointees confirmed for the Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as a third member of the NLRB who wasn’t part of that recess appointment thing. It is anticipated that the grand bargain will lead to a new era of love and cooperation in the Senate, which will last at least until this afternoon.
Update/Bonus Funny Picture: Spencer Ackerman, an American journo at The Guardian’s DC office, sent out this tweet that pretty much sums up the joys of Senate rules fights: