52- 33; Becker Loses

Reflecting the new political reality, the controversial nomination of Craig Becker for the NLRB failed this afternoon. Because of the procedural rules of the Senate, 60 votes were required to cut off debate and so the majority vote that would be sufficient for his confirmation was not enough. Given that the Republicans had 41 members and had shown no signs of breaking, there was not a lot of suspense. It did allow two Democrats to cross over, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska to make votes that they probably feel will help them back in their home states. Senate Rejects Obama’s Labor Board Nominee.

No news on what happens next. Majority Leader Reid could schedule more cloture votes, but absent a deal with a Republican (and now also Lincoln and Nelson) that would probably be the political shocker of the year, that does not seem likely to happen unless it’s desired for political theater.

It is looking like the only way that Becker ever takes a seat on the Board, is through a recess appointment which would allow him to serve for 2 years.

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