Senate leaders are close to a deal on executive branch nominees that would stop Democrats from triggering a controversial rules change known as the nuclear option.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would update Democratic colleagues on the deal on seven of President Obama’s nominees at a caucus meeting later in the day.


“We may have a way forward on this,” Reid announced on the Senate floor. “I feel fairly confident.

“We have got i’s to dot and t’s to cross,” said Reid, who added he would discuss the potential agreement with Vice President Biden and other Senate Democratic leaders.

“I think we see a way forward that will be good for everybody,” he added. “There are a lot of accolades to go around to a lot of people.”

The framework of the agreement calls for Obama to pick two new nominees to the National Labor Relations Board to replace pending nominees Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, Jr., according to Senate aides.

In return, Republicans will allow Mark Pearce, the third nominee to the labor board, and Richard Cordray, Obama’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to advance to final up-or-down votes.

Cordray’s nomination was advanced late Monday morning in a 71-29 vote.

Republicans opposed Block and Griffin because Obama recess-appointed them in January 2012, a move later invalidated by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Obama recess-appointed Cordray to the consumer protection bureau on the same day.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration wouldn’t weigh in on a Senate deal until it is finalized, but would be “glad” with any deal that moved the president’s nominees forward.


Senate reaches tentative deal to avoid nuclear option on filibuster – The Hill’s Floor Action.