The president nominated Liu to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year and renominated him earlier this year, but so far Liu has been unable to overcome the threat of a GOP filibuster. He'll need 60 votes to advance in the confirmation process.

The Senate floor remained dormant much of Wednesday afternoon after a vote that resulted in the defeat of a Republican bill that was intended to speed up and expand offshore oil and gas drilling. 

The Senate adjourned at 6:37 p.m. and is scheduled to return to work on Thursday at 10 a.m.