November 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - As American warplanes dropped bombs on Libya in June 2011, lawmakers accused the Obama administration of usurping Congress and violating the War Powers Resolution. From his office in the Pentagon's E-Ring, Jeh Johnson, then general counsel at the Defense Department, penned advice to the president: Go to Congress for approval. The president didn't agree, siding with aides who argued that without boots on the ground, the strikes did not constitute "hostilities" under the law, two former government officials familiar with the deliberations recalled.
November 10, 2013
Re "Trigger the 'nuclear option,'" Editorial, Nov. 1 The Times is correct: Senate Republicans have promiscuously deployed the filibuster in the judicial confirmation process, exacerbating the confirmation wars. The casualties are exceptional attorneys, including Patricia Millett, the nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The D.C. Circuit lacks the resources it needs to deliver justice. Elections do indeed have consequences, and the GOP seems to be practicing a type of nullification when it blocks nominees like Millett for no persuasive reason.
November 1, 2013 |
Senate Republicans' rejection Thursday of two key nominations by President Obama revived a battle over filibuster rules and opened a new partisan front just as congressional leaders and the White House are searching for a budget compromise to avert another government shutdown. Democrats in the Senate immediately renewed a threat to use their majority to impose the so-called nuclear option, making a historic change to long-standing Senate rules that would prevent a minority party -- currently Republicans -- from blocking such nominations through filibuster.
November 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In blocking the nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to head a top housing agency, Senate Republicans showed they preferred to keep oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the hands of a career bureaucrat who opposes providing more aggressive aid for struggling homeowners. Watt, a Democrat from North Carolina, was nominated by President Obama to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The nomination failed a key procedural vote Thursday. The White House and congressional Democrats plan to continue to press for Watt to replace acting Director Edward J. DeMarco, who has led the housing regulatory agency since 2009.
October 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to be the regulator for housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failed a key procedural vote Thursday because of strong Republican opposition. President Obama nominated Watt, a veteran Democrat from North Carolina, in May to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. But attempts to bring his nomination to a vote by the full Senate failed Thursday as supporters were unable to muster the 60 votes needed to stop a threatened Republican filibuster.
October 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Senate Banking Committee expects to hold a confirmation hearing in November on Janet L. Yellen's nomination to be the next head of the Federal Reserve as supporters try to get her formally in place before current Fed chief Ben S. Bernanke steps down in January. Although Yellen confirmation is expected, a quick vote could be problematic because of some Republican opposition. The committee has received Yellen's paperwork, and she has meetings scheduled with individual senators, committee and White House aides said.