Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to set up a bipartisan working group to look at improving the Senate’s pace of confirming nominations.
Democratic Policy and Communications Center Chairman Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) will head the working group, with Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) also participating.
Reid and McConnell are still working out the framework, but they discussed the concept during a colloquy on the floor.
In the colloquy, Reid said the working group could consider ways to improve and streamline the process and perhaps eliminate the need for Senate confirmation for some lower-level nominees.
McConnell noted that the Senate now has to confirm thousands of nominations instead of the hundreds that were confirmed during President John F. Kennedy’s term in office.
The bipartisan group comes as the parties joust over possible changes to filibuster rules and amid a push for faster confirmations of federal judges by Chief Justice John Roberts.
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.