Easier Road Seen for Obama Regulations

The Obama Administration’s second-term regulatory agenda should be an easier lift, thanks to changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules that make it easier to fill key agency positions and install federal judges.

The Senate’s move this month to lower the threshold to reach final confirmation votes strengthens President Obama’s hand when it comes to imposing regulations in support of his policy agenda.

Instead of a 60-vote threshold that required support from at least five Republicans, the president can now afford to lose a handful of Democrats and still win Senate confirmation for his nominees with a simple majority vote.

Consumer advocates and watchdog groups heralded the action, pointing to 189 executive nominees and 53 judicial nominees now awaiting confirmation.


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