Reid Asks for More Time on FEC Picks

Posted June 24, 2008 at 10:12am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) objected Tuesday morning to a vote on five Federal Election Commission nominees, asking for more time so Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) could interview the picks.

“I don’t know what time the last meeting Sen. Feingold has with … the last individual,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “But as soon as that — as soon as I get word on that, I will come to the floor and accept the offer of the distinguished Republican leader” to hold a vote on the nominations.

The proposed vote, floated by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Tuesday morning, would have confirmed the five nominees as a package. Reid said on the floor that Feingold’s meetings could be wrapped up today.

Meanwhile, McConnell expressed concern again Tuesday morning that Senate Democrats were holding up the vote solely to allow the Democratic National Committee to file a lawsuit against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). The DNC has accused McCain of violating campaign finance rules.

“There have been various efforts, it appears, to delay in order to give the DNC an opportunity to file a lawsuit today,” McConnell said. “Now maybe I’ll be proven wrong. … Maybe they won’t file that lawsuit and then I’ll be comforted that the effort to delay confirming [the nominees] … was not somehow related to litigation being proposed by the DNC.”

“I hope they won’t file that lawsuit today,” McConnell added.

The DNC filed suit against McCain shortly after McConnell made his remarks.