Update: Robert Cordray has been confirmed by a 66 to 34 vote.
The Senate on Tuesday overcame a key procedural hurdle on Richard Cordray's nomination to become the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The vote effectively ends a two-year long process during which Republicans blocked Cordray's nomination over disagreements about the bureau's setup.
The vote was 71-29 to move forward with Cordray's nomination, with 17 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats and independents in voting 'aye.' Cordray is expected to be officially confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
Cordray previously served as attorney general of Ohio. He was appointed to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau position during a congressional recess but is still awaiting confirmation.
The vote came as Senate leaders said they were approaching a deal to avert Democrats' move to change Senate rules on filibusters of certain nominees.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) credited Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) with crafting the deal.
"John McCain is the reason we're at the point that we are," Reid said. "Nobody was able to break through but for him. And he does it at his own peril."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in a 2010 financial services reform bill. Republicans previously blocked the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the bureau.
Cordray's recess appointment would expire in January 2014.
Updated at 12:02 p.m.