The stage has been set for the long-awaited showdown over Richard Cordray’s nomination to be the director of the CFPB. A vote is scheduled for tomorrow morning on Cordray’s nomination, as well as six (6) other non-judicial nominations, including the three members of the NLRB whose appointments were recently declared unconstitutional by the D.C. Court of Appeals. While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, has the 51 votes to confirm the nominees, he lacks the 60 votes needed to block the expected filibuster to prevent these nominations. Reid has threatened to use the "nuclear option" and change Senate rules lowering the threshold to end a filibuster to 51 votes. Senate Republicans have vowed to block any nominee to lead the CFPB without some institutional changes to the Bureau.
So the question is, who blinks first in this game of chicken? Will Reid go nuclear? Will the Senate Republicans cave in and permit an up-and-down vote on Cordray without changes to the CFPB? Or will the Senate leaders, as some experts are predicting, broker a deal to avoid the nuclear option? There are reports that senators are meeting privately tonight to try and find a compromise.