It’s not everyday that Republicans and Democrats get along. So when lawmakers on Tuesday were able to chart a path forward for executive nominations, GOP Sen. John Hoeven welcomed the rare moment of bipartisanship.
“This is good news,” said Hoeven on msnbc Tuesday. “What it reflects is not only respect for the Senate rules, but really, an understanding that to get solutions, we’ve got to work in a bipartisan way. So I hope this a step to more bipartisan solutions to meet the challenges that our country faces.”
The agreement brokered Tuesday morning calls for the replacement of two nominees to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB,) while allowing the other five executive nominations to go forward. President Obama had appointed Richard Griffin and Sharon Block to the labor board without the Senate’s consent last year. But the recess appointments were struck down by a federal appeals court. Under the framework of Tuesday’s agreement, labor will get to pick two new candidates, who could be named as early as today.
For days, Majority Leader Harry Reid had threatened to trigger the so-called “nuclear option,” which would have changed Senate rules so that presidential nominees could be confirmed by a simple majority, not the 67 votes normally required. After a joint caucus meeting Monday night lasting more than three hours, participants emerged confident that an agreement was on the horizon.
Already, lawmakers voted on Tuesday to advance the nomination of Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB,) which has gone without a permanent chief since the agency was formed.
Hoeven said on msnbc Tuesday that he still wants to see significant changes made to the CFPB, particularly in the way it’s overseen, but that his party would allow Cordray’s nomination to proceed.
“We have real concerns about the CFPB, no question about it,” said the Republican. “We’re looking for more transparency, more accountability, and even issues beyond that. But that’s different from allowing that vote for Mr. Cordray.”
Hoeven was one of 17 Republicans who joined all Democrats and Independents in voting to end debate on the Cordray nomination.
“We’ll continue to work on the CFPB,” he said.