The panel has been unable to meet and function this year because it no longer has enough members to do business. There are four vacancies on the six-member commission, and a political standoff in the Senate centered on a hack Republican nominee is blocking attempts to fill them.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate’s Republican leader, has insisted that the four seats be filled as a single package on one vote, not separate votes on the merits of the individuals. Democrats object to one Republican nominee, Hans von Spakovsky, a notorious partisan who built a record at the Justice Department as an aggressive G.O.P. booster undermining voting rights for minorities and the poor.