Reid: No recess appointments this time

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell (Ky.) before adjourning the Senate Thursday night that President Obama would not appoint any of his nominees to the Executive Branch or the bench during the chamber's two-week break.

"As the result of a successful discussion among the minority leader, the White House and myself there will be no recess appointments during the coming adjournment," said Reid, speaking from the Senate floor. 

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In return, Republicans allowed passage by unanimous consent of several of President Obama's noncontroversial nominees and allowed Reid to set up a vote on the confirmation of Stephanie Thacker to be a circuit judge for the Fourth Circuit for April 16, the day the Senate returns from its break. 

Prior to adjournment, the Senate also passed a number of small bills, including one that would afford for the development of waterfront property along the Anacostia River in Washington D.C., another that would provide for greater sanctions against Iran and one showing support for the people of Tibet and Sudan.

Reid also set up a procedural vote for the Monday on which the Senate returns on a bill containing the so-called "Buffett Rule." 

The bill, nicknamed after billionaire investor Warren Buffett who once famously claimed that his personal secretary pays a lower tax rate than he does, would ensure that millionaires who earn money from capital gains pay at least a 30 percent federal tax rate.