Dec 12, 2013
The U.S. Senate moved forward to confirm the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and confirmed Patricia Millett to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. And following a Republican "talk-a-thon" last night, the Senate also moved forward on the confirmation of Cornelia "Nina" Pillard, also to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
Watt will be a strong advocate for individual homeowners and communities and will take on predatory lending and other financial practices that harm consumers. His confirmation was long overdue, delayed because the Senate minority was determined to pursue a partisan agenda and block his nomination from proceeding to a confirmation vote.
The confirmations of Watt, Millett and Pillard happened only because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a majority of Democrats voted to end obstruction and gridlock on nominations by restoring majority vote confirmation for judicial and executive nominations, as called for by the U.S. Constitution. The Senate minority had been blocking action by requiring a 60-vote supermajority for all Senate business, even on the motion to adjourn.
The Senate has made similar changes to its rules 18 times over the past 35 years.
CWA commended Reid and the other champions of Senate rules reform. With the Fix the Senate Now coalition and the Democracy Initiative, we will work for more changes to the Senate rules in January 2015 to restore real debate and deliberation on legislation, as the U.S. Constitution charges the Senate to do.