Senate votes to confirm two district judges

The Senate approved Andrea Wood to be a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois by voice-vote.

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“Ms. Wood has the quality, integrity and judgment to be an outstanding district court judge,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said ahead of the vote.

The two votes came as lawmakers are working to reopen the government and increase the U.S. borrowing limit by the end of this week. Congressional leaders were expected to meet with President Obama on Monday to discuss a possible breakthrough.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said the shutdown was also harming the judicial branch.

“A handful of ideologues in the House of Representatives who are holding the entire judicial system hostage,” Leahy said. “The judicial system is supposed to be independent and not part of political games. … Our system of justice is facing great danger.”