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Senate nears deal to avoid 'nuclear' option

9:42 AM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
Credit: AP/file.
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Susan Davis, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he is increasingly confident the Senate can reach a bipartisan compromise to avert his plan today to invoke the "nuclear option" to make it easier to confirm presidential executive branch nominations.

"We may have a way forward on this. I feel fairly confident," Reid said on the floor Tuesday morning, crediting the efforts of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to reach a deal to approve seven pending nominations to the National Labor Review Board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"John McCain is the reason we're at the point we are," Reid said, "No one was able to break through but him."

Reid declined to offer details on the potential deal. Republicans on Monday floated a compromise that would allow five of the seven nominations to be confirmed, but Reid insisted on Monday that it was all seven nominees or nothing.

Reid's tone today was more conciliatory toward compromise following a three-hour long private meeting late Monday evening with the full Senate. "I think it is going to be something that is good for the Senate," he said.

Reid is expected to discuss the potential compromise with Vice President Joe Biden and the Senate Democratic leadership team over lunch. If no deal is reached, Reid has vowed to move forward with a controversial plan to change Senate filibuster rules on executive nominations to make it easier to approve President Obama's nominees.

USA TODAY

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