Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Surprise! The Senate reaches a compromise

By
From page A6 | July 23, 2013 |

The issue: McConnell has nothing to show for his acrimonious two-year battle to stymie Obama’s appointees

The Senate, when it rouses itself to do so, does work. Slowly, inefficiently, maddeningly, but it does work.

Proof of that was the Republicans’ decision last week to allow quick votes on seven of President Barack Obama’s nominees to top administration posts.

SENATE REPUBLICANS, after a rare closed-door session with their Democratic counterparts, agreed to subject the nominees to a simple majority vote in return for the Democratic leadership forsaking the “nuclear option.”

That option required the majority Democrats to round up 60 votes to allow the Senate to proceed on any given issue. Democratic Leader Harry Reid had threatened to overturn that rule, returning the Senate procedural votes to the old 50 votes plus one, thus depriving the GOP of its most powerful tool to obstruct legislation.

The first vote under the new agreement was to confirm Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray had been waiting two years as of last week for a vote. Once he got one, he passed easily, 66 to 34.

President Obama was so pleased by the vote that he introduced his newly confirmed consumer watchdog at the White House State Dining Room. As Obama noted, the opposition was not to Cordray personally but to the law that set up the regulatory agency in the first place.

CORDRAY SAID he saw the agency’s role as standing on the side of consumers and seeing they’re treated fairly by lenders, mortgage brokers, debt collectors, credit reporting agencies and other players in the consumer finance field.

The need for such an agency, the brainchild of Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren who rode the idea to a seat in the Senate, became glaringly apparent during the financial meltdown.

Even without a confirmed leader and little publicity about its watchdog role, the CFPB in its first two years addressed 175,000 complaints and won $400 million in refunds from unscrupulous lenders for 6 million Americans, according to the White House. Clearly, there’s a need for this agency.

THE NEXT VOTE under the compromise was even more lopsided, an 82-18 endorsement of Fred Hochberg for a second term leading the Export-Import Bank. A closer 54-46 vote Thursday confirmed Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and coming up are votes on the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, the chairman of the National Labor Relations Board and two new nominees to the board, replacing Obama recess appointments that a federal appeals court ruled invalid.

The punditry consensus was that this compromise was a major victory for Reid, marked the emergence of GOP Sen. John McCain as an essential powerbroker and left GOP Leader Mitch McConnell with nothing to show for his acrimonious two-year battle to stymie Obama’s appointees.

The Senate does work, but it doesn’t always work for everybody.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Yolo makes hydrogen connection

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    USA Weekend calls it quits

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UC Davis debate team wins national championship

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

    By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

     
    Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    College sees benefits in loan guarantees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    This cat is on life No. 7

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

     
     
    It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Say thanks to the caregivers

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Rifkin’s statement is offensive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Bombing is not the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

    By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

    Commission’s list needs vetting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Writer’s arguments fall flat

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

    Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Kings cruise past Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Allen Barr

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8