With the “nuclear option” in place, President Barack Obama needs only 51 votes to see his executive and judicial and nominations brought to vote. Liberals are seizing the opportunity, pushing Obama to nominate people with a left-of-center ideology, The Hill reports.
Senate Democrats invoked the “nuclear option” on November 21, changing the rule that 60 votes were needed to bring judicial or executive nominees to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote. With only 55 members on their side, Democrats had been unable to prevent Republican filibusters.
“Before, we weren’t trying to push people with a labor backgrounds because we knew they would never have been confirmable,” a senior labor official told The Hill. “That bar has been removed. You’ll see considerable interest in seeing more progressive people appointed to positions.”
The official said “a couple” of potential nominees are currently being pushed, but would not tell The Hill who there were. “There are some assistant secretary positions,” the official said.
The union and other liberal groups are trying to keep their list of hopefuls secret to avoid having Republicans mount a successful pushback, The Hill reported. They need sway only five Democrats to thwart a nomination.