Decision time for Harry Reid on the “nuclear option”
Tom Perez, the president’s pick to head the Labor Department, Richard Cordray, the recess-appointed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) also hang in the balance.
“I think we’ll see all these folks put up to for votes and see how the Republicans react,” said an aide to a liberal Democratic senator who supports rules reform. “Are they going to give up-and-down votes to these nominees or not? I think there will be rules changes if they’re not accommodating.”
A senior Democratic aide said Reid would discuss strategy on nominees at a Democratic Caucus meeting either Tuesday or Thursday. The aide predicted the majority leader would likely file a motion to end debate on one of the high-profile nominees at the end of the week.
The nuclear option strategy is gaining momentum in the Senate in part because of growing pressure from organized labor, which wants Reid to break the impasse over the NLRB. The agency, tasked with enforcing workers’ rights to organize, has just three of its five slots occupied, and the term of Chairman Mark Pearce is due to expire in August.