Here's What You Need to Know About the Senate Filibuster Compromise

Harry Reid has agreed not to use the "nuclear option" of rules change in exchange for Republicans allowing votes on key Obama nominees.
More
harryreid.banner.ap.jpg
Associated Press

Senate Democrats and Republicans have reached an agreement on a process that would avert the "nuclear option" by allowing up-or-down votes on President Obama's executive nominees, according to Senate Democratic and Republican leadership aides.

The deal, reached Tuesday morning by Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, would allow a vote today on Richard Cordray, the nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It would also clear the way for votes on Labor Secretary nominee Thomas Perez, EPA nominee Gina McCarthy, and Export-Import Bank nominee Fred Hochberg.

The deal calls for the two controversial National Labor Relations Board nominees, Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, to be withdrawn and two new nominees to be named. Republicans will not block the two new nominees. Democrats have not agreed to take future nuclear-option threats off the table.

The White House has not responded to a request for comment.

By agreeing to end debate on Cordray, Republicans relented on their demand that Democrats restructure the bureau before they would allow Cordray to head it.

And, in a sign that the compromise has wide support, the Senate voted 71-29 to end debate on Cordray's nomination and proceed to a final vote.

The deal represents a way forward after Republicans and Democrats in the chamber had a standoff over nominations, causing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to threaten a change to filibuster rules, widely known as the "nuclear option." Senators gathered for a rare full-chamber meeting behind closed doors on Monday, but little progress was reported.

On the floor Tuesday morning, Reid had signaled that a compromise was in the works saying, "I think we see a way forward that will be good for everybody.... This is not a time to flex muscles." Reid also gave a shout out to McCain, crediting him for bringing the two sides together.

But there are still more talks ahead. Reid said he plans to talk to Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Patty Murray and Schumer. "We're going to have caucuses today. We'll explain in more detail the direction we're headed. I think everyone will be happy," Reid said.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Frates & Michael Catalini

Chris Frates is national correspondent at National Journal. Michael Catalini is a staff writer covering politics at National Journal.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In