Yesterday, Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News posted about Senate Holds, Filibusters, and the “Nuclear” Option:
Last week, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) placed a “hold” on all of the Obama Administration nominations that are pending before the Senate, thereby preventing a vote on their confirmation. There are said to be at least 70 such nominations awaiting Senate action, including those of several senior defense and intelligence officials. Sen. Shelby, a man of flexible principles who has served as both a Democrat and a Republican, reportedly adopted the blanket holds in an attempt to compel the Administration to award certain defense contracts to his home state of Alabama.
Shelby’s action is “outlandish,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on the Senate floor last Thursday. But that was as far as he was prepared to go, or perhaps farther than he intended to go. Striking a tactical retreat, he immediately added: “I can’t imagine this is the right thing to do.”
He did not just placed a single hold, but a blanket hold. Below is Keith Olberman on Monday night who skewered the good senator from Alabama like sizzling kebab:
Apparently also on Monday night, Mr. Shelby lifted most of the nearly 70 holds he had placed on President Obama’s nominations to posts that require Senate confirmation. A Shelby spokesman quoted by the NYT says that the holds were “to get the White House’s attention on two issues that are critical to our national security,” a refueling tanker that would add jobs in Mobile and an F.B.I. antiterrorism center to be built in Alabama.
Oh, sweet ....more senate holds and jam, please!
Related Items from Secrecy News:
- “Recess Appointments: Frequently Asked Questions,” updated March 12, 2008.
- “‘Entrenchment’ of Senate Procedure and the ‘Nuclear Option’ for Change: Possible Proceedings and Their Implications,” March 28, 2005.
- “Cloture Attempts on Nominations,” March 30, 2009.
- “‘Holds’ in the Senate,” May 19, 2008.
- “Senate Policy on ‘Holds’: Action in the 110th Congress,” March 14, 2008.
- “Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate,” March 28, 2003.
- “Minority Rights and Senate Procedures,” August 22, 2005.