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View Diary: So what's up with "holds" in the Senate, anyway? (166 comments)

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  •  It's bundling the bills (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jatkin02, lurks a lot, Dragon5616

    By making the Coburn Omnibus Bill, Coburn can filibuster and delay all he wants...but he only gets to do it once.  So, even if it takes a week or so, fine, once that time is over, 100 or so outstanding bills get through and Coburn looks like an idiot.

    Omnibus bills are fairly common, so there's nothing novel about this in theory, only in that it's lumping so many things together in order to deal with one individual.

    And some of Coburn's holds are the height of stupidity.  He's got a hold on one bill that involves the US participating with the other Arctic nations in settling jurisdictional disputes and so on.  There's nothing controversial about it at all, just agreeing that everyone will sit down and try to work out any potential problems, but the good senator from the Arctic state of Oklahoma stuck a hold on it because...well, when I was talking to some guys at External Affairs who are normally very sensitive to American politics when it relates to Canada, they hadn't the foggiest idea what his problem was.

    One thing that I think may clear up problems caused by holds is that the senator(s) requesting it not only have to publicly identify that they're holding, but they have to give the reasons why.  In some cases, like many of Coburn's, the reasons would be so patently absurd that there'd be a backlash the senator would have to face.

    •  Thanks for the clarification. (0+ / 0-)

      Your suggestion for giving reasons is a terrific one as well.

      "Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America." --Dwight Eisenhower

      by Dragon5616 on Sat Jun 28, 2008 at 02:22:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (S.911) (0+ / 0-)

      ...is one that Coburn apparently has held. Passed the House unanimously, has 64 co-sponsors in the Senate, obviously from both sides of the aisle.

      The pediatric cancer community, of which I am an exceedingly minor bit player, is up in arms about this. So close to passage, so close (finally) to $130 million in new funding AND a necessary national registry of pediatric cancer cases.

      But Coburn has his gray matter up his arse and won't let go of the bill for reasons that nobody knows.

      We collectively are trying to call the Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, where both Coburn and the bill sit, to convince them that people do give a damn about this particular legislation.

      Shine the light and show the absurdity. Hope for backlash.

      JA

      JA

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