Photo by Flickr User UlisesJorge
Senate leaders reached a deal Wednesday that will allow confirmation of 14 of President Obama’s selections to serve on the federal bench. The agreement reached between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wards off a political fight that threatened to further halt work in a Senate already entangled in election-year politics.
McConnell and Reid announced plans to confirm 12 federal district court nominees and two circuit court nominees by early May. Democratic aides said seven of the nominees should be confirmed by the Easter recess in April.
The Senate is scheduled to be out of session April 2 to 15. In exchange for voting on the nominations, the Senate will begin debate on a House-passed jobs bill that Republicans moved last week that focuses on small businesses. McConnell wanted the jobs bill moved first, and he and Reid engaged in a verbal tit-for-tat on the Senate floor before cutting the deal. The jobs bill will be voted on next week.