Reid Cautions Against Blocking Routine Nominees at Session's End

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Most of the focus of nominations in the Senate this week involves the 10 nominees that Majority Leader Harry Reid has lined up votes on before senators leave for Christmas, but there's more to the story.

Since the Senate intends to finish its work for the year in the coming days, the Nevada Democrat will also seek to clear a slew of generally noncontroversial appointments by unanimous consent, likely in the closing minutes of the last session day. It also would require consent to hold over nominees pending before the chamber at the time of adjournment for when the Senate returns in January.

Reid told CQ Roll Call in a Wednesday interview that he has a lengthy list of nominees who should be ready for confirmation.

"It won't be thousands, but you know, it will be scores of people who are ready to move," Reid said.

He specifically pointed to a number of nominations to State Department posts. Reid previously told KSNV in Las Vegas that he had discussed nominations with Secretary of State John Kerry.

"Look at the calendar. There's 30 or so ... on part of Kerry's team," including, Reid said Wednesday, "ambassadors all over the world. Why would they hold these people up? They've been through hearings."

"If there is a particular issue with someone, I can understand that, but to hold everybody up is ... we can't allow that to happen anymore," Reid said.

That seemed to be a bit of a warning against any senator objecting to the entirety of the more routine nominations package that usually clears without any fanfare by unanimous consent at the end of a session long after most senators have reached Reagan National Airport, although it wasn't clear how Reid might respond.