Filibuster rules - Republicans make some concessions


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The Senate dodged a constitutional showdown Tuesday when Republicans agreed to confirm several of President Obama’s executive branch nominees and, in exchange, Democrats agreed to leave filibuster rules in place.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the key GOP negotiator, announced the deal minutes before a scheduled vote on Richard Cordray, Obama’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The deal paved the way for Cordray, the acting director of the agency, to be confirmed to the position later in the day on a 66-34 vote. He was nominated in July 2011, but Republicans had refused to confirm him.

Republicans won their demand for different Democratic nominees for the National Labor Relations Board but gave assurances of a speedy confirmation that would make the board fully operational by next month. Leaders briefed rank-and-file senators on the deal at Tuesday caucus luncheons to ratify the pact.