US senators to change nomination rules
US senators are mulling over a deal to reduce the number of presidential appointments that are subject to Senate confirmation amid Democrats' calls for a change in the filibusters' rules, PressTV reported.
Under the Senate's filibuster rules, the minority party -- Republicans now -- is legally able to stall the legislative process and thus derail a particular piece of legislation, or defeat nominations without allowing a yes-or-no vote.
The Senate rules permit a senator or a series of senators to speak for as long as they wish and on any topic they choose, tipping the balance in favor of Republicans or any minority party to have a greater say in appointing favorite nominees or enacting favorable legislations.
The move has come under harsh criticism by Democrats, who have called for a sweeping change in the system that has frustrated administrations of both parties.
Meanwhile, US senators began negotiations to reduce the 1,400 presidential appointments subject to time-consuming Senate confirmation in an effort to facilitate the system, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.
Charles Schumer, a senior senator from New York and a member of the Democratic Party, and Lamar Alexander, a top Republican senator from the State of Tennessee, are engaged in talks to exempt 100 out of the 1,400 positions that currently require a Senate vote.
Currently, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has jurisdiction over 303 posts, including 185 ambassadors.
The Senate Judiciary Committee oversees 252, including 92 US attorneys and 92 US marshals. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has control over 101, and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee over 83.
Officials said Schumer and Alexander were reviewing the list with a goal of eliminating positions with relatively little influence over policy making at federal agencies.