"Secret hold", dirtier than it sounds.

edited June 2010 in News
So I recently discovered this little nugget of information. Apparently ANY congressman can, at any time, put a 'secret hold' on almost anything. What is a secret hold you ask?
FTAThe practice, which has been around a long time, is essentially an anonymous threat to filibuster any attempt to vote on a bill or nomination.
Now, normally this is used on rare occasions, typically because someone wants more time to gather information or stall for another reason. It's normally not something that's used with any kind of regularity. I think it's stupid in the first place that some mystery member of congress can hold everything up on a piece of legislation or nomination and not have to identify themselves or even the reason for the threat. I also think that every time someone says they'll filibuster, make that ass get up there and do it.
The thing that's really bothering me is this little tidbit:
FTAAt a comparable time in 2002 when George W. Bush was president and Congress left for its Memorial Day recess, only 13 nominations had been pending in the Senate for more than two days. This Memorial Day, 120 of Obama's nominees awaited confirmation, and most were held up anonymously. The nominees who have gotten confirmed have had to wait on average more than 100 days after winning approval in committee.
This is outrageous. It's a clear and obvious sign that the conservative wing of the government has no intention of doing any work, at all, ever as a form of petty protest that they got raped in the last election cycle. I'm even willing to bet money that they continue this same self-serving behavior until 2012 and then try to call the Democrats a "do nothing party".
The article gives even more horrifying detail.

Comments

  • I believe there is legislation in process that is supposed to force people who put secret holds on things to actually go public with it. I dunno if it will get anywhere, but I think we definitely need to support it. Elected representatives should be accountable to their constituents. They should not be able to hide behind anonymity. It is very different to have several people on a committee so you don't know which idea in a bill came from which specific person; that is a way to get things done and avoid posturing. This crap of "I am going to stand in front of your tank so you can't go anywhere, but I will put a bag over my head so no one knows who I am" is bullshit.

    Hey... does that make the obstructionist republicans hippies? They are basically chaining themselves to trees to prevent any change from happening to the forest. Never mind that the whole forest is blighted and half of the trees are already dead!
  • I believe there is legislation in process that is supposed to force people who put secret holds on things to actually go public with it. I dunno if it will get anywhere, but I think we definitely need to support it. Elected representatives should be accountable to their constituents. They should not be able to hide behind anonymity. It is very different to have several people on a committee so you don't know which idea in a bill came from which specific person; that is a way to get things done and avoid posturing. This crap of "I am going to stand in front of your tank so you can't go anywhere, but I will put a bag over my head so no one knows who I am" is bullshit.
    It did.... However what the rule forced was if there was a secret hold for more then 5 or 6 days they had to reveal themselves. So the republicans just let go of the hold in 5 or 6 days and another senator starts the hold.............................This is why we can't have nice things.
  • edited June 2010
    I'm waiting for one of them to put a secret hold on the legislation to remove the secret holds.
    I'm also disappointed that Fark didn't provide more entertaining photoshops of this article. "Secret Hold" should have been cake.
    Post edited by GreatTeacherMacRoss on
  • I'm waiting for one of them to put a secret hold on the legislation to remove the secret holds.
    How do you know they haven't already. dun Dun DUUUUN
  • edited June 2010
    I'm waiting for one of them to put a secret hold on the legislation to remove the secret holds.
    How do you know they haven't already. dun Dun DUUUUN
    image
    Post edited by GreatTeacherMacRoss on
  • Why is it that the old men, who normally are too slow and out of touch to accomplish anything in government, simultaneously act like petulant children any time they don't get their way?

    Were I the Democrats, I would step up the game. I would use every procedural, pedantic technicality in the book to force this bullshit into the light. I would keep Congress in session 12 hours a day every single day, constantly hammering them, forcing them to constantly fight every little fight until they tired. Want to go home? Stop abusing your minority rights to prevent progress. Passionate about your obstructionism? Then stand and deliver. Filibuster until your black little heart is content, and all the while we'll roll cameras and show the world what you're spending their tax dollars on.

    The Democrats are allowing all of this to happen.
  • Why is it that the old men, who normally are too slow and out of touch to accomplish anything in government, simultaneously act like petulant children any time they don't get their way?
    I think it's because most average adults are in fact petulant children.
    The Democrats are allowing all of this to happen.
    I concur.

  • The Democrats are allowing all of this to happen.
    Y'know, you always hear the old men saying that when you "grow up," you'll see the light and become a Republican. I'm starting to wonder if it's at least partially due to the abysmal Democratic leadership. You might not agree with the Republicans, but they have solidarity and can get things done. The Democratic party seems to be way too wussy to actually accomplish anything.

    If I actually agreed with most of the Republican platform, I'd be on board.
  • The Democrats are allowing all of this to happen.
    The democrats are also the old men. They're all old men. Old men vs. old men.
  • The Democratic party seems to be way too wussy to actually accomplish anything.
    What we need is Obama to step up and tell his party his party what to do. He is the leader after all.
  • What we need is Obama to step up and tell his party his party what to do. He is the leader after all.
    The thing is, there's only so much the President can actually do. Congress really holds all the power. Though, it'd be nice to hear him calling various people out on their bullshit.
  • Well I'm not expecting him to actually do anything. I want him to tell the people in congress what to do. For example, call out the filibuster threat, make them actually do it.
  • For example, call out the filibuster threat, make them actually do it.
    Well, that's not actually his job. It's up to the people in Congress to do that. The President doesn't actually have the power to tell Congress what to do; if that were the case, the President would effectively be a monarch.

    Calling people out in Congress might work for him, but it will also make him look combative and divisive. It's a tricky situation. What I want is to see the Majority Leaders call out the minority party on their bullshit.
  • Well, that's not actually his job. It's up to the people in Congress to do that. The President doesn't actually have the power to tell Congress what to do; if that were the case, the President would effectively be a monarch.
    Well technically no one in Congress can make anyone else do anything. I want him to lead, I want him to lay out a game plan.
  • Calling people out in Congress might work for him, but it will also make him look combative and divisive. It's a tricky situation. What I want is to see the Majority Leaders call out the minority party on their bullshit.
    They do constantly. Unfortunately it's not a sexy story or people just go "meh" or they go "good those commies won't get anything done" or they don't understand.
  • Well, that's not actually his job. It's up to the people in Congress to do that. The President doesn't actually have the power to tell Congress what to do; if that were the case, the President would effectively be a monarch.
    Well technically no one in Congress can make anyone else do anything. I want him to lead, I want him to lay out a game plan.
    Unfortunately, it seems the only thing that can unify our congress on anything is some form of tragedy.
  • edited June 2010
    I totally agree with Rym on this one. Make those miserable little meta-gaming minority bitches come forward. make them yammer on and on, filibustering in front of cameras and the nation.
    I have no idea why any kind of hold like this should be secret, ever. If you believe strongly enough that something being introduced is wrong, you better have the testicular (or ovacular I guess, no need to be sexist :P) fortitude to stand up and say it. Not whisper to a friend that you want to put a roadblock up but you don't want anyone to know you're doing it.

    Also, Republican solidarity is not as tight as it was. The next election cycle doesn't look too good for them, what with Rand "Civil Rights Are Bogus" Paul winning a nomination and Sue "Give Your Doc A Chicken" Lowden looking like a major candidate by ousting more moderate Repub's.
    Post edited by GreatTeacherMacRoss on
  • Also, Republican solidarity is not as tight as it was.
    Well, that's my hope. My fear is that Republicans value solidarity above all, and the entire party will go batshit loco insane.
  • Myfearis that Republicans value solidarity above all, and theentire partywill go batshit loco insane.
    What was the last reasonable position held and espoused officially by the US Republican Party?
  • What was the last reasonable position held and espoused officially by the US Republican Party?
    Um...some of their gun control policies aren't totally crazy? Their 2008 platform also included the expansion of nuclear power. That's reasonable.
  • No... what NEEDS to happen is for the people to rise up and overthrow the entire useless government. That is, if we ever want anything to get done. That will send the message that we don't like the way things currently are, and we won't stand for it anymore. Electing different legislators will simply perpetuate the system we currently have. No solution but a revolution!

    But, ya know, we're lazy... so instead, we will just toothlessly complain about our representatives while not actually doing anything to affect change. Cuz that's what we do in America.
  • just toothlessly complain about our representatives while not actually doing anything to affect change
    The real American dream.
  • No... what NEEDS to happen is for the people to rise up and overthrow the entire useless government. That is, if we ever want anything to get done. That will send the message that we don't like the way things currently are, and we won't stand for it anymore. Electing different legislators will simply perpetuate the system we currently have. No solution but a revolution!

    But, ya know, we're lazy... so instead, we will just toothlessly complain about our representatives while not actually doing anything to affect change. Cuz that's what we do in America.
    Or you take over the system hoping that you won't be corrupted by it before you reach the top :-p
  • No solution but a revolution!
    See, this is why I love you.

    So you're getting the ammo, right?
  • So you're getting the ammo, right?
    No need. Ty just ordered retarded amount. Hillbillies with spending urges should stay the hell off the internetz.
  • I need to get ammo for my .22
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