The nomination of openly lesbian Chai Feldblum to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been approved by the Senate HELP committee, Metro Weekly reports. Although anti-gay organizations had promised “Armageddon” over the nomination, no controversy flared beyond some mild prodding in committee hearings. Feldblum’s nomination will now go to the Senate floor for full confirmation where, according to Metro Weekly, things could get a little more interesting:
Clearing the committee vote, while important, does not guarantee Feldblum’s nomination clear sailing on the Senate floor. Republicans have, in fact, held up action on a number of Obama nominees this year by using a Senate rule that allows any senator to delay a vote on any nomination for any reason. Senators can create these delays anonymously and, given the ferocity of the right-wing organizational opposition to Feldblum’s nomination, that prospect might be an attractive political move for any conservative senator. Already, Republicans have put holds on President Obama’s nominees for Director of the Census, Surgeon General, and for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernecke’s second term, among many others.
Should a senator place a hold on a nomination, the Senate will have to muster 60 votes in order to force the nomination to the floor.