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The moratorium by the Senate Banking Committee to review 16 nominations by the Obama Administration for federal regulatory positions may finally be lifted now that the committee’s chairman won his party’s primary election.
According to a Reuters report, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has been blocking Committee consideration of nominees that include two Federal Reserve Board governors and two Securities and Exchange commissioners. While the GOP-controlled Congress has stalled a number of Obama nominees—and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has repeatedly vowed to prevent the president from filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia—Shelby’s primary victory over a tenacious Tea Party rival appears to be the keystone for breaking the moratorium.
Indeed, a spokesperson for Sen. Shelby told Reuters that he "intends to address a number of issues throughout the year including some nominations," adding that a schedule of confirmation hearings would likely be announced next week.