April 2, 2019

Nuclear Drum Beat in the Senate

Marty Paone

Today, the Senate will have a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to S.Res. 50. The Resolution reduces the post cloture time on most nominations, except Supreme Court and Circuit Court nominations, and nominations for the EEOC, SEC, FEC, FERC, FTC, NLRB, CFTC, CPSC, FCC, STB, NRC, FDIC, and the FED, to 2 hours equally divided. For the exceptions it remains at 30 hours BUT that will be equally divided so half of that could immediately be yielded back.

The vote today will fail, Democrats will oppose, but tomorrow cloture will be invoked on Jeffrey Kessler’s nomination to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce. During the post cloture debate points of order are decided without debate. Senator McConnell can make a point of order that nominations post cloture debate should reflect the parameters contained in S.REs. 50, the Chair will rule against him since that’s not what the Rules provide. I should be driving a Tesla but that doesn’t make it true – I digress…

Senator McConnell can, and probably will, appeal the ruling of the Chair, the vote on that appeal would occur immediately, and with a majority vote the Chair would be overturned and the new guidelines will be in effect. And the beat goes on.