Senate moving swiftly? It happens when lawmakers can do it – Miami Herald

For most of this year, the hyper-partisan Senate has been working at a glacial pace. Now, with vacation beckoning, the Senate is trying another, faster gear.

It’s not exactly warp speed, but in rapid succession this week the chamber has confirmed a new FBI director, sent President Donald Trump a key veterans health bill, and cleared a batch of lower profile nominations that have been bottled up by Democrats.

In the Capitol, it’s known as the jet fumes effect. Desperate to leave the Washington swamp, lawmakers become much more docile, lifting obstacles to nominations and dropping demands on legislation.

This year, the burst of activity is all the more striking because the Senate floor has been such a dead zone; the chamber has spent weeks at a time doing little more than plodding confirmations of Trump administration nominees.

One factor in the flurry of activity is a sense of detente now that there is a pause in the imbroglio over health care. Leading up to last week’s failed Senate attempt to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Obama health law, passions ran high in the chamber and Democrats were in no mood to cooperate on anything.

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