And the only 10 “no” votes went to… This morning the Senate Banking Committee voted unanimously on 5 nominees for various positions and all of the nominees received unanimous support — except one. Can you guess which one didn’t get through unanimously? That person’s nomination still moves to the full Senate for consideration because all 12 Democrats voted YES even though all 10 Republicans voted NO.
The 10 Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee — Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Bob Corker (R-TN), David Vitter (R-LA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Dean Heller (R-NV) — voted no on Watt and no other nominee.
Receiving unanimous support today was Kara Stein (for SEC Commissioner) and Michael Piwowar (for SEC Commissioner), who are former staffers of the Banking Committee, were unanimously voted out of committee, so was Jason Furman (to be on President’s Council of Economic Advisers). Richard Metsger (for the National Credit Union Administration Board) was also approved unanimously.
In what will ultimately be a test of how hard Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama want to push his nomination — Watt’s nomination to be the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, will be a test for the new effort by Reid to break the filibuster.
Federal judges and nominees have become the focus of GOP obstruction over the last few years. Months ago, President Obama’s nominee to be Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, became the first cabinet nominee in U.S. history to be filibusters. Susan Rice, who is now the NSA Advisor, was stopped even before she was nominated to be Secretary of State. Today the Senate confirmed Tom Perez to be Secretary of Labor on a strict party line vote after Republicans delayed the nomination but failed to have enough votes to stop it with a filibuster.