Senate Vote on FAA Nominee Set for Next Week

Senate floor votes on the nomination of Stephen Dickson to be Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration have been set for next week.

Under a unanimous consent agreement entered into on July 18, the Senate will hold a vote at 5:30 on Monday, July 22 on invoking cloture on the nomination of Mike Esper to be Secretary of Defense. If that motion passes (and it will), then the Senate will vote on confirming Esper’s nomination at noon on Tuesday, July 23, and then after that vote will immediately vote on invoking cloture on Dickson’s FAA nomination.

Under the new post-nuclear Senate rules, invoking cloture on a nomination only requires a majority of the Senators who show up for the vote, not the old threshold of 60 votes no matter what. Whether or not Dickson’s nomination to invoke cloture, the Senate will then recess for the weekly party luncheons.

Under a separate agreement, when the Senate comes back from its lunch recess at 2:30 p.m. it will immediately take three consecutive votes relating the bill (H.R. 1327) extending the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. After that, if the Senate had indeed invoked cloture on Dickson’s nomination just before lunch, the vote on confirming his nomination could come quickly.

(Under a Senate rules change made on April 3, 2019 – see page S2220 here – the post-cloture debate time on all executive branch nominees below Cabinet rank was reduced from 30 hours to 2 hours. So, if the three votes relating to H.R. 1327 are done with by 3:30, Dickson could come up for a final vote on the Senate floor two by 5:30. Or, the vote could be rescheduled to whenever Majority Leader McConnell finds it most convenient.)

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