The Democratic-led Senate capped a third day of an around-the-clock confirmation marathon on Friday by approving two more of President Barack Obama’s nominees and agreeing to finally take a break – and vote on two more on Monday.
Republicans can slow down but not stop the confirmations because of a Democratic rule change that ended their ability to block nominees with procedural hurdles known as filibusters.
On votes of 79-6 and 74-17, respectively, the Senate confirmed on Friday Deborah Lee James as secretary of the U.S. Air Force and Heather Anne Higginbottom as deputy secretary of state for management and resources.
The two raised to nine the number of Obama’s nominees, most of them relatively low-level, confirmed since the Senate kicked off its non-stop effort at about midday on Wednesday.
On Monday the Senate is expected to confirm Anne Patterson as an assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs and Jeh Johnson as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
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