The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (Bill S.372) flew through the Senate with apparently unanimous bipartisan support, but just as it reached the finish line it skidded to a halt, shot down by someone who didn't want to take responsibility.
NPR's On the Media, along with the Government Accountability Project, launched the Blow the Whistle project to find out who the chickenheart was. They...
asked our listeners to call their Senators and ask them if they were responsible for the secret hold which killed this important legislation.
With the help of our listeners we have managed to eliminate all but two Senators, both of whom have said that their policy is not to comment on the placement of anonymous holds. The Government Accountability Project has let us know that this project has had the two-pronged effect in the Senate of making Senators more hesitant to use the secret hold, and bringing new attention to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, which is expected to be reintroduced in the Senate shortly.
I almost didn't post this diary, knowing the pressure Republicans are putting on National Public Radio's funding - claiming they're 'biased'.
By the process of elimination all but two senators denied having anything to do with the hold; Senators John Kyl and Jeff Sessions.
Four times now since 2004, their offices have taken turns placing holds that blocked Senate action on the WPEA. As reported earlier, Sen. McConnell’s office has denied placing the hold, and Sen. Kyl provided a rather cryptic response to your queries:
“The Senate passed S. 372 on Dec 14, 2010 and the House passed a different version of the legislation on Dec 22. With only hours left in the session, the Senate did not have sufficient time to review the House’s changes and reconcile the differences between the two bills.”
Turns out that Sessions and Kyle were doing a favor for the House Republicans ~
What we found out, was the hold was placed because of a secret request from the Republican House leadership.
The House, which doesn’t have a secret hold process had, in fact, unanimously passed the bill twice — once as originally written, and later a softer version, with some of the more protective language removed. Gladstone said the reason why the Republican leadership would then request the Senate to put a secret hold on was beyond her comprehension.
Kyle has a history of protecting his God-given right to hide under dirty laundry.
It takes two senators to "tag-team" a bill; workin' hard to evade responsibility:
Since U.S. Senate rules now require the entering of the senator's name into the public record after six days, senators now commonly 'tag-team' a hold. 'Tag-Teaming' a hold requires at least two senators that want to hold the legislation indefinitely. The first senator (anonymously) places a hold on the legislation, then, after five days, and before his or her name is entered into the record, releases his or her hold. The second senator then places an (anonymous/secret) hold on the legislation and, also after five days, and also before his or her name is made public, releases his or her hold. The first senator then takes over the hold, and the process repeats itself indefinitely.