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Senate Confirms 64 Nominations

The Senate confirmed 64 Obama administration nominees Tuesday, the largest package to move through the chamber this year.

“Let me express my appreciation to our being able to work through some of these,” Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the floor, adding that the chamber may clear more names later in the day. “This is doing to be a step forward,” the Nevada Democrat said.

Tuesday’s floor action comes after months of Democratic complaints over the slow process of clearing pending names.

Indeed, Reid noted that Tuesday’s action is “a step forward” on what has been a contentious issue this year on the floor.

“There’s no need to talk about why we didn’t get them done sooner,” he said. “We got them done now, and I think that is a step forward for the Senate and our country.”

The list of names that cleared Tuesday morning largely resembles a package Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to bring up last month, which was blocked by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Harkin wanted the list to include Craig Becker, who was appointed to the National Labor Relations Board by President Barack Obama over a recess in March but who has not been confirmed to a full term. Becker was not in the package that cleared Tuesday, although two other NLRB nominations were included: Democratic pick Mark Pearce and GOP pick Brian Hayes.

“This is an agreement we’ve been prepared to make since last month and I’m glad we were finally able to work our way through it and get a significant number of these nominations confirmed,” McConnell said on the floor.

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