The Senate unanimously cleared two judicial nominees and lined up floor votes on two more in a continued effort to clear the backlog of names still pending on the executive calendar.
Susan Nelson of Minnesota and Denise Jefferson Casper of Massachusetts were confirmed to district court posts on Friday night. Two others, 4th Circuit nominee Albert Diaz and district court nominee Ellen Lipton Hollander, are scheduled to be voted on during the Senate's rare Saturday session.
The chamber will also cast procedural votes on the DREAM Act and legislation to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on Saturday.
The Senate also passed a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Tuesday until a long-term solution is figured out in both chambers.
All the nominees have been pending for several months. There are 34 nominees still awaiting confirmation.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have been in continued talks over the past several weeks to determine how to move those judicial nominations and the dozens of President Barack Obama's nominees who remain in limbo.
Republican aides and Judiciary Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have predicted many of the lagging judicial nominees will win confirmation before the Senate adjourns for the year. But some of those appointed by Obama remain too controversial to be confirmed without a floor fight — an event unlikely to occur this late in the year. Those nominees include Goodwin Liu, nominated to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and district court nominees Louis Butler, Edward Chen and John McConnell.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.