On March 30, the full Senate took a procedural vote to discharge from the Senate Commerce Committee the nomination of Alvaro Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission. This additional step in the confirmation process was required because the Committee had deadlocked in a tie vote of 14-14 on his nomination. The Senate voted 51-50 with Vice President Harris casting the tiebreaking vote to send the nomination to the Senate floor. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) then tried to move to a cloture vote to end debate on the nomination and move to an up or down vote on confirmation, but it was blocked. This action followed reports that Senate Republicans were intending to put a hold on the nomination once it came to the Senate floor. The latest reports are that the cloture vote will be scheduled at a later date that has yet to be determined.
The Senate will recess for two weeks beginning April 8 and resume session the week of April 25. The timeframe for the additional two votes that would be required to confirm the nominee – on cloture and on the nomination – is still unclear. Until Mr. Bedoya is confirmed, the FTC stands in an even split of 2-2 between Democrat and Republican commissioners signaling the agency will not take significant regulatory action until he is confirmed.