Harry Reid Forces Senate Republicans to Flinch and Will Get Nominees Confirmed Friday

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Late on Thursday evening the Senate reached a deal regarding the remaining Presidential nominees waiting to be confirmed. The Senate will now confirm Alejandro Mayorkas, Brian Davis and John Koskinen on Friday and then recess for the Christmas break. Also, Janet Yellen’s confirmation will be held on January 6th after the Senate reconvenes. Yellen will not have to go back to the President’s desk to get renominated. However, six other nominees, mostly deputy positions, will have to have their names resubmitted by the President to be confirmed next month.

It should not be a problem for Yellen, who is nominated to be the new Chairperson of the Federal Reserve, to wait until January 6th to finally get confirmed. The current chair, Ben Bernanke, is not scheduled to step down from his post until the end of January. While Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) really would have preferred to get this confirmation done before Christmas break, having her wait a couple of weeks is not an issue since she doesn’t have to take over right away.

Getting Koskinen confirmed on Friday is a nice little ‘in your face’ to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell had stated on Thursday that he wasn’t about to let the nominee to head the IRS go through with a ‘rubberstamp.’ Apparently, McConnell was trying to appeal to the Tea Party base over the ‘scandal’ from earlier this year about IRS targeting of conservative groups that turned out to be completely false. However, this agreement reached Thursday evening pushed Koskinen’s confirmation through without any further debate.

Davis will be confirmed as a US District judge and Mayorkas will be the new Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. As for the other six nominees, it appears that President Obama will send their names back through and they will be able to get confirmed in January with little to no issue. Sure, the Senate Republicans may continue to force debate on them but it won’t stop the nominations from being confirmed in the period of a day or two.

In this instance, Reid was able to make sure that the most essential nominations were confirmed and that there was not going to be any real roadblocks to Yellen’s confirmation when they get back. Also, by moving back the date of Yellen’s confirmation, they don’t have to deal with Sen. Rand Paul’s silly request to push through his ‘Audit the Fed’ bill. Paul was hoping that the Senate’s desire to get out of town by Friday would have some of them vote for his bill. In return, he’d get the Senate Republicans to allow Yellen’s confirmation to go through right away.

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