Senate GOP Blocks Two Obama Nominees

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Democrats Ponder ‘Nuclear Option’ of Rules Change, but No Move Expected Soon; Reid to Bring Up More Candidates.

Republicans blocked the Senate from voting Thursday on two of President Barack Obama’s nominees, reviving the prospect of a broader fight over nominations that both parties have said could poison relations and shut down all other business in the chamber.

Two prominent Obama nominees—Rep. Mel Watt (D., N.C.), picked to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae FNMA +5.88% and Freddie Mac, FMCC +5.66% and Patricia Millett, nominated for a seat on a key federal appeals court—failed to clear procedural hurdles in back-to-back votes. Each fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance.

The GOP opposition angered the majority Democrats, who said they were considering whether to take new steps to limit Republicans’ ability to prevent confirmation votes.

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