Reid Looks to Advance Obama Nominees This Week

Posted October 21, 2009 at 10:14am

The Senate will vote Wednesday on the nomination of Roberto Lange for the District Court of South Dakota and is expected to consider at least one additional nomination this week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has recently been unsuccessful in moving a handful of legislative priorities over GOP objections, also filed a procedural motion to consider the nomination of William Sessions, tapped by President Barack Obama to lead the United States Sentencing Commission. Sessions, a district court judge in Vermont and now vice chairman of the commission, was approved by the Judiciary Committee in May. Sessions’s current term expires Oct. 31, which an aide said compelled Reid to push the nomination along. Including Lange and Sessions, 38 Obama nominees are pending on the Senate calendar. Reid has been slow to clear the backlog because of a limited time line and, in the case of Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen, because he has been unable to rally enough support for her installment within his own Conference. Regan Lachapelle, a Reid spokeswoman, said the Majority Leader hopes to clear additional nominees in the weeks before the brief Veterans Day recess, which begins Nov. 11, but it remains unclear which nominations might be in play.