Senators point fingers after deal on nominees falls through

Senators point fingers after deal on nominees falls through

The Senate Banking Committee postponed a vote on five Obama administration nominees Thursday after an apparent agreement to approve them as a group fell through.

The five nominees were grouped together en bloc for one vote. But the vote that was postponed after several Democrats and one Republican spoke out against two nominees to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): Lisa Fairfax, a Democrat, and Hester Peirce, a Republican.

Several Democrats voted against the bloc, blasting Fairfax and Peirce for not being clear about whether they’d support the SEC’s rule requiring companies to disclose political campaign contributions. 

Those Democrats attempted to clarify during the vote that they were only opposing the two SEC nominees, not the other three on the slate.

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottControversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs MORE (R-S.C.) then also voiced his objection to one of the nominees, prompting Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to postpone the vote.

Shelby and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDems pressure GOP to take legal action supporting pre-existing conditions Dems fume as Trump's consumer bureau pick refuses to discuss role in border policy Manufacturers support Reed to helm Ex-Im Bank MORE (Ohio), the committee’s ranking Democrat, each blamed the other side for derailing the vote. 

Shelby said after the hearing that Democrats broke the deal on the nominees but that a vote on each of the nominees would be scheduled soon.

“You have to talk to them,” said Shelby. “They said they wanted to voice vote them all out today and they had a little flare up.”

Brown countered in a separate interview that Shelby failed to get his party on board.

“Chairman Shelby was obviously not comfortable that he had the votes when he did it,” said Brown. “I expect we’ll work them out and I’ll expect we’ll see some action.”

Democrats have railed against Shelby for more than a year for the slow pace of hearings and votes on nominees. The committee didn’t hold a vote on any nominees in 2015 and only began moving on them this year after Shelby won his primary in early March.