Washington Sen. John McCain on Thursday stopped blocking President Bush's judicial and other nominees after administration assurances that a campaign finance ally would be seated on the Federal Election Commission by the fall.
The Senate immediately confirmed 15 nominees, including four for the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The deal means that Democrat Ellen Weintraub will get a recess appointment by Bush to the FEC if the Senate has not confirmed her by the time the legislative session ends in October.
McCain, R-Ariz., agreed to end his holdup of Bush's nominees. Internal rules allow just one of the 100 senators to place a procedural hold on a nomination, making it difficult for a nominee to get a vote.
McCain was "satisfied with the resolution," spokeswoman Nancy Ives said.
The senator has wanted Weintraub to replace lame-duck FEC Commissioner Karl Sandstrom as one of three Democratic members on the six-person commission. McCain, the longtime champion of overhauling campaign finance rules, views Sandstrom as hostile to the law that finally won passage this year.
Sandstrom, whose term expired last spring, sided with the three Republicans on a series of 4-2 votes on rules implementing the new law, which takes effect after this fall's elections.
McCain claimed they open up loopholes in a law designed to virtually eliminate unlimited donations that unions, corporations and wealthy individuals make to the political parties.