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CQ Roll Call: Republican Still Blocking Obama's Nominations, Few Changes After Anniversary Of Tuscan Shooting

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David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing

President Obama is not backing away of his nomination of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Protection Financial Industry. The President is expected to deliver brief remarks at the bureau today. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are still criticizing the decision to install Cordray through a recess appointment, even though the Senate was conducting pro forma sessions to try and prevent such a move. David Hawkings offers more on the situation. Following are highlights of his analysis.

Hawkings on what recourse the Republicans have: "They don't have much of recourse at the moment except to do one thing, which is to block every appointment nomination the President might make. Even with the Cordray recess appointment and the recess appointment of three nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, there are a couple of hundred nominations still sitting in the Senate docket, and with each new passing day, the President makes more nominations."

On what the President's next steps might be, and whether lawmakers were surprised by his move: "The year did end with a bunch of these nominations stuck... Mitch McConnell announced at the very end of last year, when everyone else was paying attention to the payroll tax cut, that he would not allow even the most routine nominations to go through at the end of the year. There was, however, a surprise that the President did not use the tiny bit of time between the end of one year and the beginning of the New Year, which is kind of like a recess, to make his appointments."

On the lasting impact of the Tuscan shooting that killed six people and injured 13 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: "Not the lasting impact that everyone was hoping for a year ago. There was a lot of talk that this incident would produce more civil discourse, not only in Congress, but in political campaigns. That clearly hasn't happened. But... members are being nicer to their staffers a little bit, and also more appreciative of the Capital police, who protect them everyday.


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