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Senators propose ending secret holds

If a bipartisan pair of senators get their way, secret holds -- a preferred technique for slowing down executive branch nominees in the Senate -- will become a thing of the past.

The Hill reports that Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have introduced an amendment to the Wall Street overhaul bill to force senators to attach their names when they place a hold on a nominee.

The amendment would require senators to write to either their Senate Majority Leader or Senate Minority Leader. The written notice would then be required to be published in the congressional record two days later.

As Al Kamen pointed out recently, dozens of President Obama's nominees are awaiting confirmation votes.

By Matt DeLong  |  May 5, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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I hope this comes to pass. Current rules are ripe for abuse. There is no pressure on the one who places the secret hold. Kind of like anonymous rants on blogs. No pressure, no accountability. Bring the process into the sun. The open holds are egregious enough. Hundreds of appointees and matters of business are being held up out of pure spite. The wheel must turn.

Posted by: wd1214 | May 5, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The name of the holder as well as the reason for the hold should be revealed. Too many senators are abusing this rule to extort "pork" for their states. It is about time sunlight is introduced here to disinfect these abusers.

Posted by: hadelaide | May 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

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