Reid: No ‘Precipitous’ Nuclear Option, But Consumer Watchdog Will Get Vote Next Week

May 15, 2013 8:35 a.m.

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to change the Senate filibuster rules — either broadly, or more narrowly to fast track presidential nominees — he’ll need a strong case. Part of that case will rest on whether Republicans make good on their threat to block confirmation of Richard Cordray — President Obama’s non-controversial nominee to direct the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — unless and until Democrats agree to weaken his agency’s regulatory power.

To that end, he’ll hold a vote on Cordray’s nomination next week.“I’m going to make sure he’s going to have a vote next week, and then we’ll see what happens after that,” Reid told a small group of reporters in his Capitol Hill suite Wednesday morning.

Reid’s decision to eschew significant reforms to Senate filibuster rules at the beginning of the current Congress — and his continuing reluctance to revisit those rules despite recent filibusters of cabinet nominees — angers allies both on and off of Capitol Hill.

But he continues to approach the issue cautiously.

“I’m not going to do anything now, precipitously,” he said. “But I’m looking at this very closely…. We’re going to fill that job. Cordray is there now. He’s going to get a vote.”

Reid wasn’t able to explain why he believes (or claims to believe) Cordray will ultimately be confirmed. But he alluded to the possibility that he may pursue a rules change mid-session.

“Whether it’s Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton that’s the next president, I don’t think they should have to go through what we’ve gone through here,” Reid said. “People better watch.”

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