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View Diary: Obama-Coburn Accountability Bill Put on "Secret Hold" (147 comments)

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  •  I believe... (0+ / 0-)

    ...that you can't put holds on nominations.

    Not 100% sure though.

    •  correction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Love

      I just found my notebook from an American Politics class I took last semeseter, and it says that there are rules against putting holds on any bills involving spending money, and there is a generally accepted norm that Senators do not put holds on appointments.

      Why a Democrat didn't go against that norm with Alito or Roberts, but did with the FDA commish, I don't know...

      •  Budget Bills (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bob Love, NYYDem

        You also can't fillibuster budget bills - there are some quirks there. As for judicial nominations, there used to be a procedure to hold them (called blue-slipping) that allowed the Senators from the home-state of a judicial nominee to block his nomination - a technique the Republicans often used against Clinton, but it's since fallen out of favour.

        The thing to remember in all this is that holds are done by custom, and are (essentially) a bluffing game. A Senator could put a hold on a bill, and (by convention) it would be held - but if the leadership reall wants to get it through, they'll run it anyways. They'll need to have the votes to break a filibuster and have enough public support to paint the blocking senator as 'obstructionist' when they use procedure to tie things up, but there's nothign that stops them from breaking a hold.

        As for why you'd do it on this one, it's got to be someone higher-up in the Republican hierarchy. If First & McConnell were truly for it, they'd make a run a breaking the hold and painting a Democrat as obstructionist, as this bill is a no-brainer for public support. If it's a Republican, however, they're not going to go after one of their own like that, in the same vein that Hyde won't let a bill pass (in that he won't open a vote for it that he knows will pass) that doesn't have the support of a majority of house republicans, not just a majority of house members.

        "The NSA offers exciting work for recent graduates in computer science. Pick up the phone, call your mom, and ask for an application."

        by Scipio on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 03:11:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't Clinton and Murray (0+ / 0-)

        put a hold on the FDA appointment recently?

        Can we talk about taking back the senate? We need six states.

        by Radiowalla on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 03:31:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Baloney, the Republicans put holds on (0+ / 0-)

        Clinton's Federal Court judicial nominees. The higher the Court nominee, the more eager were the Republicans to use Clinton's pick's as bargaining  chips -- especially in that brief time when the  Senate Dems were in the  majority.

        What Jesse Helms, Ol'Strom, Orrin Hatch and Lot did was particularly brutal.

        And don't get me started on what the pre-LBJ southern Senators did on Civil Rights legislation.

    •  Of course you can (0+ / 0-)

      Of course you can do anything, break any precedent, any rule that you wish. As long as you are Republican and Bill Frist sees it as helping him out on his road to the White House.

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