Filibuster Lives: Senate Skirts 'Nuclear Option'

Most Obama picks will go through
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2013 12:03 PM CDT
Filibuster Lives: Senate Skirts 'Nuclear Option'
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid center, walks to closed-door meeting yesterday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate's little version of the Bay of Pigs is over, and this one won't end with nukes, either. After much hemming and hawing and stern pronouncements, both sides reached a deal to avoid a showdown over filibuster rules, meaning Harry Reid won't use the so-called "nuclear option" to make them more difficult to call, reports Politico. Under the deal, Republicans agreed to let all but two of President Obama's in-limbo nominees sail through—including Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Obama has to pick two new nominees for the National Labor Relations Board, replacing ones who were originally recess appointments. (The latter involves a whole other legal mess still being sorted out in court.)

At Slate, Dave Weigel translates the filibuster deal thusly: "Total victory for Democrats with some face-saving for Republicans." The GOP killed two of the picks, but "by giving Democrats nearly everything they asked for, Republicans avoided a change to the filibuster." Ed Morrissey at Hot Air notes that the GOP is taking heat for "caving," but they didn't have much choice once it became clear Reid was serious. "They probably got what they could get—blackballing the two NLRB appointees and forcing the White House to replace them—but they weren’t going to get rid of Cordray or any of the rest of these seven." (Read more filibuster stories.)

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