Just one day after Barack Obama made waves by declining public financing for his campaign, the Senate hit another roadblock filling slots in the agency that regulates campaign money.
On Friday morning, Senate Democrats objected to filling the remaining four seats on the Federal Election Commission, leading Republicans to claim that they were stalling on reconstituting the FEC, which has been unable to do any major work this year on campaign finance legal matters.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asked for the nominees to be confirmed Friday, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) objected.
McConnell said it's critical to have a functioning FEC, especially since the agency will soon be making decisions on public financing.
"I am extremely disappointed that our friends on the other side of the aisle have objected to a fully functioning Federal Election Commission," McConnell said. "Just yesterday, their nominee called the system ‘broken.’"
But Reid spokesman Jim Manley points out that Reid offered to have a slate of FEC nominations cleared last month, and the Republicans objected. Regardless of today's setback, Reid hopes to have the FEC nominees cleared by the end of next week.
"But make no mistake about it, had the Republicans not blocked our consent to confirm the nominees before Memorial Day, there would be a functioning FEC today," said Manley.