Senators Hope to Finalize Jobs Package Next Week
The Senate will vote next week on two of President Barack Obama’s nominees as Democrats continue to finalize a jobs package that could see floor action before the Presidents Day recess.Senators will begin considering the nomination of Patricia Smith as solicitor of the Labor Department on Monday. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed a procedural motion on the nomination Thursday to break a GOP hold by Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.), ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Enzi blasted Smith over the summer for what he argued was inconsistent testimony to HELP on a program that she started in New York, where she served as the state labor commissioner. Smith’s nomination has lagged since October.If Monday’s cloture motion passes, the Senate will likely vote to confirm Smith by Wednesday. Senators will then begin considering the nomination of Martha Johnson to serve as administrator of the General Services Administration.After consideration of both nominees, a senior Democratic aide said the Senate may move to the first of several jobs bills. Reid, who hoped to lay out his job creation plan last week, decided to wait a few more days to include proposals outlined by Obama in his State of the Union address.The House and Senate are expected to adjourn Feb. 12 for a weeklong Presidents Day break.