Monday: Talking about talking in the Senate

Democrats will complain that Republicans are abusing the power to delay the Senate through the filibuster. Republicans will complain that this is their right, and that Democrats shouldn't be considering changes to the filibuster rules by a simple majority, instead of a supermajority.

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Senate Democrats have threatened to impose changes by a simple majority vote unless Republicans agree to seven Obama administration nominees on Tuesday. Under the change threatened by Democrats, presidential nominees would no longer be subject to a 60-vote threshold.

But despite all the drama, the fact that the parties are meeting today indicates room for negotiation and a chance that the parties will agree to avoid any permanent changes to Senate rules, at least in the short term. Any agreement allowing Tuesday votes on the nominations might be enough to cool the fight down for some time.

Nominees Democrats are hoping to vote for are Richard Cordray to be director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection; Richard Griffin, Sharon Block and Mark Pearce to the National Labor Relations Board; Fred Hochberg to be president of the Export-Import Bank; Thomas Perez to be secretary of Labor; and Gina McCarthy to be administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Senate will start work at 2 p.m., which may give members a chance to talk about the filibuster debate, the Trayvon Martin ruling over the weekend or other matters.

A vote on a judicial nominee is possible at 5:30 p.m.

The House is in at 10 a.m. but only for a pro forma session in which no votes are expected.