Bipartisan Filibuster Compromise Hails Promising End to Senate Gridlock
A compromise Tuesday between Senate Democrats and Republicans will, at least temporarily, reduce the gridlock of executive appointments. Republicans agreed to move several confirmations through in exchange for Democrats halting their plans to dramatically alter the rules of the Senate, especially the filibuster.
The compromise allowed the appointment of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to move through the Senate with a vote of 66 to 34 immediately after it was announced. The Senate also approved the appointment of Tom Perez as the Secretary of Labor, who has been supportive Several other nominations are expected to be confirmed soon, including the Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues and positions in the Environmental Protection Agency.
In exchange, Democrats withdrew two nominations made by President Obama to the National Labor Relations Board that Republicans contested were illegally made during recess and bypassed the Senate. President Obama has announced two new nominations for the positions that Republicans have said will be confirmed.
Fix the Senate Now, a coalition that "advocates for sensible change to the rules governing the U.S. Senate," said that this was an important step but that there is still a lot of work to be done to streamline the legislative process. "Until the Senate raises the costs of obstruction to make gridlock for gridlock's sake a less viable strategy, we will continue to work to fix the broken Senate," they said.
Media Resources: Fix the Senate Now 7/16/2013; Los Angeles Times 7/16/2013; New York Times 7/16/2013; Washington Post 7/16/2013
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .