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.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

arguments

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

 's picture

sources

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

JONATHAN ALBRECHT's picture

We are a democratic republic

These undemocratic Senate rules need to end.

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