WASHINGTON (7/16/13)--Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan Monday alerted credit unions that they may be in for "one of the more significant weeks in recent U.S. Senate history" as that body prepares to move forward on several nominations put forward by the Obama administration--including that of Richard Cordray to formally become director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The Cordray nomination is a partisan wrangling point. While Democrats generally support his appointment, 43 Republicans have demanded changes to the CFPB structure--broadening it to a five-member board rather than a single directorship--meaning it could be all but impossible to get the 60 votes needed to confirm Cordray as CFPB head.
Late last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) moved cloture on several nominations, including Cordray's, meaning he invoked a parliamentary procedure that aims to bring a quick end to debate. But more notably the majority leader also announced his intention to pursue a controversial Senate rule change that would limit the filibuster opportunities for certain presidential nominations--the so-called "nuclear option."
Late Monday, the Senate held a rare bi-partisan caucus meeting in the Old Senate Chamber to discuss how to proceed on the issue of presidential nominations.
In addition to the CFPB nomination, the Senate is expected to vote this week on the nominations of:
Thomas Perez for secretary of the U.S. Labor Department;
Gina McCarthy for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
Mark Gaston Pearce, Richard F. Griffin Jr., and Sharon Block for the National Labor Relations Board; and
Fred Hochberg for president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.