The Senate might well be in most of the night
, again to finish work on the defense authorization bill and to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary of Homeland Security. That's if Republicans, as they have been for the past few weeks, refuse to yield back debate time to speed things up. Which isn't looking too likely
as Republicans are digging in even deeper in their efforts to obstruct.
Reid initially had 10 nominees lined up for votes before the end of the year, which actually means before Christmas. In an effort to get out of town this weekend, Reid has reduced that to just four: Mayorkas, Janet Yellen at Federal Reserve, John Koskinen as IRS Commissioner, and Brian Davis as a district judge for the Middle District of Florida. But then Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) stepped in.
GOP Whip Cornyn says R's will have a watchdog on the Senate floor to block any unanimous consent requests by Dems this weekend.
He's even got a sign-up sheet
for senators to sign up to hang out on the floor (there goes my theory that they were going to make Ted Cruz do it in penance). That's actually some serious escalation. What it means is that Republicans will not allow consent for all of the other pending nominations—everyone who has been approved by committee—to be held over to next year. Their nominations will all have be started over from scratch, including Robert Wilkins in that last vacancy in the D.C. Circuit.
Stay tuned for what could be a very, very long weekend in the Senate.