The United State requires an absurd number of executive appointment positions to be confirmed by the Senate. Many of these positions are things like HHS Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs or the board of directors for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
There actually is bipartisan agreement that the system is bloated and all the unnecessary confirmations are simply creating the opportunity to slow the Senate down with frivolous filibusters. So when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a bipartisan bill to slightly streamline the Senate by eliminate only 200 of the most unimportant confirmations, it was of course hit with a frivolous filibustered. From Politico:
Thursday when Reid and McConnell wanted to actually get a vote on a bill to eliminate some 200 minor executive posts that would require Senate confirmation, it was filibustered.
Reid and McConnell said in January they would try to avoid filing cloture – a time-consuming process – on motions to proceed to debate on legislation and nominations. In theory, that would allow debate to begin right away on any bill the majority leader would bring to the floor. But any senator can object to that request, forcing a cloture motion to be filed, which requires 60 votes to proceed. That’s exactly what happened Thursday, and now there will be a cloture vote to begin debating the nominations bill on Tuesday.
There is no better proof of how absurdly broken the Senate is than this idiotic attempt to stop even the most modest bipartisan reform. The current “privileges” enjoyed by each Senate has turned the chamber into the legislative equivalent of room full of spoiled five year olds.