Let's put an end to the secret hold

Maine's two senators have offered to cross party lines to help end a baffling Senate practice which deserves to go the way of the spittoon and smoke-filled back room — the secret hold.

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins have, along with 63 colleagues, signed a petition to ban the practice, which allows a single senator to secretly stall appointments and legislation.

This issue came to a head earlier this year when it was revealed that Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, was secretly holding up 70 Obama administration appointees because a company in his state was denied a military contract.

The appointees in question had already received support — sometimes overwhelming bipartisan support — from Senate committees.

Yet, they had been delayed 90 days or longer to satisfy one angry senator.

The original intent of the hold was to allow a senator to slow things down until he or she had time to read the legislation or do more research.

That's a worthy goal, but senators can do the same thing and still attach their name to the hold.

The secret hold is simply undemocratic and an open invitation to abuse.


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 's picture


Reading some these "interactions" is like listening to a bunch of 10 yr olds fight.

 's picture


Do you have even one single legitimate source for your assertions? Of course not, there aren't any.


We are a democratic republic

These undemocratic Senate rules need to end.


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