ABQ Journal: Udall calls Cordray vote ‘big breakthrough’ in Senate rules debate

Senate Democrats this morning mustered the 60 votes needed to move to a confirmation vote on President Barack Obama’s U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau nominee, a move that Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico called a “big breakthrough.”

After meeting privately for three hours on Senate rules reform late last night, the chamber voted 71-29 today overcome a filibuster threat of the long-stalled nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Rob Cordray to lead the consumer protection bureau. The vote averts — at least for now — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s threat to use a so-called nuclear option to change the Senate’s rules. Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., suggested a longer-term deal was in place earlier this morning, but Reid just said negotiators were still “dotting some I’s and crossing some T’s.” He also suggested more details could emerge later today.

Most Senate Democrats — including Udall — have encouraged Reid to use the nuclear option (moving to a final vote, or “gaining cloture” with just 51 instead of the traditional 60 votes) to bypass Republican obstruction of President Obama’s nominees.

“It’s a big breakthrough, a big breakthrough,” Udall said on the Senate floor this morning, just before the cloture vote.

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