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Senate Republicans Tying Up All Week With Obama Appointee Confirmations

If you needed further proof that Sen. Dodd’s threat to hold a vote on financial reform was somewhat idle, other than the fact that Susan Collins emerged from a meeting with the Treasury Secretary today still opposed to the bill, consider what the Senate will spend their time on this week:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said today that he plans to stay in session “around the clock” until there are votes on five presidential nominees, including three for judicial vacancies, one for the Justice Department, and one for the Treasury Department. While senators aren’t yet breaking out the cots for late-night votes, the threat signals a renewed effort to push nominees to confirmation.

“Many Americans have never heard these nominations’ names before, but that doesn’t make their jobs any less critical for the country,” Reid said on the Senate floor. He singled out the judicial nominees, saying “the public pays the price” when they are not confirmed.

This will take an inordinate amount of time. Lael Brainard, the Treasury Department nominee, got cloture invoked on her nomination earlier this evening (by a vote of 84-10), and final confirmation is scheduled for noon tomorrow. So it took two days just to get one nominee done. There are five scheduled and that’s your week. Will financial reform, especially what appears to be a quixotic quest for it given Republican intransigence, really get shoehorned in there?

UPDATE: Jim Manley has confirmed, no vote this week. Dodd was bluffing.

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David Dayen

David Dayen