FTSN: Today?s Deal an Important First Step toward Returning the Senate to Basic Functionality

Washington, DC – The news that the U.S. Senate has reached an agreement to advance key executive branch nominees for an up-or-down vote and ultimate confirmation is an important first step toward returning the Senate to basic functionality, the Fix the Senate Now Coalition said today.

In addition to the impending resolution of the cabinet-level nominations of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, it is heartening that the Senate will advance the nomination of Richard Cordray to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) and nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In both of the latter cases, today’s agreement is a strong rebuke of Senate Republicans’ strategy of using the tools of gridlock to block and nullify the existing law of the land and basic government functioning.

However, let there be no mistake that the Senate still has work to do to fully earn back the trust of the American people and to live up to its best traditions. Until 60 votes is no longer the default threshold for every order of Senate business; until the plague of federal judicial vacancies is resolved; and until the Senate raises the costs of obstruction to make gridlock for gridlock’s sake a less viable strategy, we will continue to work to fix the broken Senate.

We commend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for his support for the President's nominees, as well as the continued advocacy of reform-minded Senators (such as Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)).

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