Senators look to reduce number of nominations as part of deal

Senators working on a bipartisan deal on the rules of the upper chamber are contemplating reducing the number of presidential nominations that are subject to Senate confirmation, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lamar Alexander (D-Tenn.), the lead negotiators in the effort, are hammering out a deal that may exempt 100 out of the 1,400 positions that currently require a Senate vote. The move would be made in order to help reduce the backlogs that build up.

The deal would not affect judicial appointments or senor positions at Cabinet departments or independent agencies, the AP reported.

As part of the deal, the two senators have discussed limiting anonymous holds to five days. Currently senators are able to block nominations indefinitely using holds.

The negotiations are occurring as leadership from both parties are trying to contend with demands from some Democrats to curtail the filibuster.

Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have been leading the fight on the filibuster, which most observers now predict is unlikely to succeed.