Senate Democrats are planning to push ahead on two high-profile legal nominations that they'll need Republican support for if they hope to get confirmation votes.
Donald Verrilli Jr.'s nomination for solicitor general of the United States will come up first, in a Senate vote on June 6, according to an agreement among Senate leaders. The full Senate will vote on whether to end debate on Verrilli’s nomination — a move that requires the support of 60 members. Verrilli is a deputy White House counsel and former Jenner & Block partner.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has threatened to hold up several of President Barack Obama’s Justice Department nominations, including Verrilli’s, in order to win greater cooperation with oversight requests.
Two days later, on June 8, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Obama’s proposal to extend the tenure of FBI Director Robert Mueller III for two years. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s chairman, announced the hearing today and said he would name witnesses for the hearing at a later date.
Grassley, the committee’s ranking Republican, is sponsoring legislation in support of giving Mueller another two years, though Grassley said he does so with “trepidation” because he values the 10-year limit that’s written into law.
Except for pro forma sessions, the Senate is in recess next week.