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deal calls for the two controversial National Labor Relations Board nominees, Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, to be withdrawn and two new nominees to be named.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.