Secret Hold put on legislation by Shadow Senator


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Thin Black Line
August 24, 2006, 10:54 AM
I learned something new today. Apparently, 99 senators are not really
necessary anymore. Whether or not you want transparency on how your
money is really being spent, I wonder how this could affect firearms
legislation? What allows this action in the Senate?

Furthermore, if such action is legal in the Senate, why hasn't some red-blooded
American Senator always come forward and put a hold on legislation that
infringes upon the Second Amendment?


Nation & World Home / Nation & World

Published: Aug 24, 2006 12:30 AM
Modified: Aug 24, 2006 02:31 AM


Secret 'hold' stops open-government bill

Cox News Service

WASHINGTON - In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.

An unidentified senator placed a "secret hold" on legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., that would create a searchable database of government contracts, grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5 trillion last year. The database would bring transparency to federal spending and be as simple to use as conducting a Google search.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed the measure in a voice vote last month, and such heavy hitters as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., supported it. It was on the fast track for floor action before Congress recessed Aug. 4 when someone put a hold on the measure.

Now the bill is in political limbo. Under Senate rules, unless the senator who placed the hold decides to lift it, the bill will not be brought up for a vote.

"It really is outrageous to do this in the dead of night as Congress is recessing," said Gary Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, a budget watchdog group based in Washington. "The public has a right to know how the government spends money."

The secret hold has prompted conservative and liberal government watchdog groups to band together to "smoke out" the senator responsible.


Let me re-quote for the skimmers out there:

Now the bill is in political limbo. Under Senate rules, unless the senator who placed the hold decides to lift it, the bill will not be brought up for a vote.

Yes, one Senator effectively vetos the bill for the other 99.

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Nitrogen
August 24, 2006, 11:19 AM
I'd love to see more on this secret senate rule.

rbernie
August 24, 2006, 11:25 AM
I seem to recall that the hold is not an official rule - it's a gentleman's agreement between members that indicates the intent to filibuster a bill in advance of the actual filibuster.

longeyes
August 24, 2006, 11:27 AM
The best government money can buy.

Maybe, before we spread "liberty" to the savages, we'd better take care of our own latrine first.

Waitone
August 24, 2006, 11:35 AM
I believe the term is "discharge petition".

Sindawe
August 24, 2006, 11:36 AM
From the U.S. Senate web site:hold - An informal practice by which a Senator informs his or her floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration. The Majority Leader need not follow the Senator's wishes, but is on notice that the opposing Senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure.

Source: http://www.senate.gov/reference/glossary_term/hold.htm

Nothing there about a "secret hold". :scrutiny:

xd9fan
August 24, 2006, 11:45 AM
Maybe, before we spread "liberty" to the savages, we'd better take care of our own latrine first.

Could not agree more.

tyme
August 24, 2006, 12:26 PM
That's not a "shadow senator." It's just an unidentified/anonymous senator. And the hold is not secret, since everyone seems to know about it.

orangelo
August 24, 2006, 12:31 PM
How is this any different than small committees deciding which bills will see a floor vote and which ones disappear never to be seen again?

longeyes
August 24, 2006, 12:57 PM
He/she won't be "anonymous" for long. That we can count on. That identity will be on the Internet in 24 hours. That's why the Web is on the crack-down list.

Thin Black Line
August 24, 2006, 01:13 PM
That's not a "shadow senator."

Let me check the Politically Correct Phrasology Database: how about
a "Senator in the shadows"? Oh, wait, we still can't use "shadow"
because of the negative connotation. Let me work on this some more
so it's palatable to the Two-Headed Partiya......working......working......
Ka-ching!

Here --the whole article has been re-edited:


"Gentleman's reservation applied to obscure minor bill by freedom-loving
anonymous People's Senator" (advertisement: Would you like to lose more
weight?). Subscribers may click here for the full story.

Titles aside, one must question which Senator leaked news about this
so-called "gentlemen's" agreement?

That's why the Web is on the crack-down list.

BINGO.

Phantom Warrior
August 24, 2006, 01:29 PM
hold - An informal practice by which a Senator informs his or her floor leader that he or she does not wish a particular bill or other measure to reach the floor for consideration. The Majority Leader need not follow the Senator's wishes, but is on notice that the opposing Senator may filibuster any motion to proceed to consider the measure.


Is anyone else tired of a bill not getting passed because it MIGHT be filibustered? I agree with the suggestion put forward when the judicial nominees were in limbo. Make them filibuster the darn thing. Let them bring the wheels of the Senate grinding to a halt in front of God and everyone. Let them look like political jackasses for holding up the business of the Senate because they don't want to give something an up or down vote.

Right now, this senator has effectively filibustered the bill already without expending any political capital or looking like an idiot for holding up the Senate. They should at least be forced to stand up and explain why they are opposing a bill that has wide support in both parties.

Car Knocker
August 24, 2006, 01:37 PM
Titles aside, one must question which Senator leaked news about this so-called "gentlemen's" agreement?

Doesn't have to be a Senator, more likely it was a staffer.

Thin Black Line
August 24, 2006, 02:03 PM
Is anyone else tired of a bill not getting passed because it MIGHT be filibustered?

Anyone else remember the threat to fili the 1994 AWB that wasn't pursued?
Again, interesting to see how they pick and choose when to apply these
floor tactics. When you know who the actors are that play the characters
of a particular scene, then you see how it all fits together as a rather lovely
choreographed stage play.......mostly like Kobuki Theater in its style.

Someone needs to shed the light on the Senator who would play the
Kuroko!

agricola
August 24, 2006, 02:05 PM
Thats unbelievable - our Parliament is full of arcane trickery but none of the members have the power of veto over everyone else (only the monarch in theory).

rbernie
August 24, 2006, 02:12 PM
If the Majority Leader wanted, he/she could force the bill to the floor and disregard the hold. This is a courtesy hold for a period of time, and nothing more.

Waitone
August 24, 2006, 02:13 PM
Is anyone else tired of a bill not getting passed because it MIGHT be filibustered? The situation is worse. How about congressing laboring mightly creating legislation because it plays well to the Great Fed Up and then torpedoing the legislations effectiveness by inserting language with nullifies everything else in the bill. Who pulls this crap? Start with Snarlin' Arlen. Example? Try Arlen's legislation designed to fix Bush's wiretap efforts. Both parties engage in the practice. :banghead:

JohnBT
August 24, 2006, 04:07 PM
Imagine the number of bills that would be passed each year if not for all of these sleight of hand tactics. The more they can slow things down the better I like the government.

John

rbernie
August 24, 2006, 04:14 PM
Where's Jorge X. McKie when ya need him? :D

Brett Bellmore
August 24, 2006, 05:24 PM
The reason you don't see "secret" holds in cases like the AWB, is that this tactic only works where most of the Senators are in agreement with it. It's a way for a bunch of Senators to block a bill, without any one of them having to own up to being the guilty party.

They could over-ride the "hold" any time they wanted; It's just a convenient excuse not to act on a popular bill that Senators don't like.

Robert J McElwain
August 24, 2006, 05:35 PM
Point of order please.

I think the "secret hold" is just that, and it's to avoid embarrassment of the requesting Senator. A discharge petition is what is necessary for all the other Senators to get the leadership to release it over the objections of the secret Senator.

Does someone no the details of this?

Bob

James T Thomas
August 24, 2006, 06:22 PM
I believe the whole process of referring bills, after the first reading, is a method used to bypass our republic form of governement so that a small oligarchy; committe, can thwart the will of the people.

With the computerization of the vote process within both the senate and house, there is no more a necessity for Committe review of proposed legislation, and for that matter, the practice of adding riders, etc. to bills can be eliminated, and must be, also!

Bills for legislation must simply be voted upon by their own merit. And without interference of fillibustering. After all, that was the purpose of a senate originally anyway; that regional issues could be reviewed susequently beyond the self interest of vested local constituents, legislating through their representatives.

cuchulainn
August 24, 2006, 07:15 PM
Thin Black Line: Let me check the Politically Correct Phrasology Database: how about a "Senator in the shadows"?It's not a matter of being PC -- it's a matter of not confusing us.

"Shadow Senator" and "Shadow Representative" refer specifically to Washington D.C.'s elected representatives in Congress. These people have the same lobbying/hobnobbing powers as other congressmen, they even have Hill offices and staff, but they cannot propose legislation or vote.

Thus, your title made many of us think you were referring to Paul Strauss or Florence Pendleton.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Congressional_Delegations_from_District_of_Columbia

Car Knocker
August 24, 2006, 07:43 PM
Where's Jorge X. McKie when ya need him?

Hopefully Herbert's son will revive McKie someday.

Cosmoline
August 24, 2006, 07:57 PM
Notice how the "gentlemen" band together to cover their backsides. Maybe it's time for someone to burn down DC again. It is the anniversary of the last time that took place

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bc/BurningofWashington1814.jpg

txgho1911
August 25, 2006, 12:58 PM
The Senator who requested the hold could have been any one of the committee who voted for it.

http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/3557/1/457

Then again there might be speculation after the session ended on the 3rd instead of the 4th.

cassandrasdaddy
August 31, 2006, 10:47 PM
is the one

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20060830-111903-1556r.htm

Jim March
August 31, 2006, 10:59 PM
Totally tubular, maaan!

:rolleyes:

Let's hope that clown doesn't win another primary.

Cosmoline
August 31, 2006, 11:01 PM
It appears it may be Byrd as well. There are some back room scores being settled here that have bupkus to do with the bill itself.

Ted will never lose an election in Alaska. He brings home way too much bacon.

cassandrasdaddy
August 31, 2006, 11:05 PM
one of the sci fi writers, either asimov or clark once had a system where we picked the best man for political positions and sentenced them to 6 years with the promise that they would get off in 4 if they did a real good job.After 30 years working around dc 10 on the hill i'm a believer.

beerslurpy
September 1, 2006, 12:23 AM
Where's Jorge X. McKie when ya need him?
Woo, early Herbert for the win. I love the Gowachin legal system.

By the way, anyone here remember Ted Stephen's speech about the internet where he explains about the internets are not a thing you can put on a truck- rather, the internet is a series of tubes. I swear the man is a lobotomy patient.

I used to have a sound clip where someone chopped up his entire net neutrality speech and reorganized the words so it became a confession about how he was trying to ruin the internet. That speech is pretty funny in its original "the internet is a series of tubes" form.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 1, 2006, 01:35 AM
From Instapundit (http://www.instapundit.com/):

"Bill Frist makes a commitment: "In September, I will bring S. 2590 to the floor of the Senate for the vote it deserves."

Thin Black Line
September 1, 2006, 11:24 AM
http://www.adn.com/front/story/8143616p-8036832c.html


Federal agents swarmed legislative offices around the state Thursday, executing search warrants in a coordinated series of raids that appeared to target the longstanding relationship between the oil-field service company Veco and leading lawmakers.

Above Anchorageís 4th Avenue, FBI agents spent most of the afternoon behind the closed doors and drawn blinds of the fifth-floor offices of Senate President Ben Stevens and Senate Rules Committee Chairman John Cowdery, both Anchorage Republicans. Through slits in the blinds, one agent in Stevensí office, wearing rubber gloves, could be seen packing away evidence in a container.

In Juneau, tourists and residents were greeted with the extraordinary sight of FBI agents hauling out files form the Alaska State Capitol after searching offices there.


Another "Stevens" in the news? Any relationship you might ask?


No one would say what was the target of the Girdwood warrant. Ben Stevensí father, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, has a home and office there. Both were quiet and dark Tuesday afternoon. A neighbor said she saw no unusual activity at the Stevens home. A postal clerk reported the same for Stevensí office, which is in the Girdwood post office.

A spokesman for Ted Stevens didnít return several calls and an e-mail from a reporter.

Well, this is all very interesting. The timing is most interesting of all. ;)

cassandrasdaddy
September 1, 2006, 11:36 AM
Handling bad politicians "russian" or "chinese" style might help em act right

Thin Black Line
September 1, 2006, 12:02 PM
Cass,

We're a gentle democracy, setting the standard for the world to follow.
Actually, the Rus have far less "auto accidents", "suicides", and "death by
unknown medical complications" than they use to. Now the Russian Tax
Ministry sends in a tactical unit to raid an office and the suspect actually
stays alive. :D

Kim
September 1, 2006, 12:03 PM
Byrd admitted toady he is another of the worst money grabbing Senators. I bet he hopes he dies before all his fraud is found out.

cassandrasdaddy
September 1, 2006, 12:19 PM
still bill the family for the bullet

i don't want anyone killed but the arroganceof the politicians needs reigning in. i felt bad about cunningham going to jail but hes a classic example of how washington corrupts

Waitone
September 1, 2006, 02:31 PM
I felt bad about cunningham going to jail but hes a classic example of how washington corruptsExactly! And would hope Cunningham or others of his ilk would have a "Come to Jesus moment" and start leveling with the Great Fed Up as to how the system ensnares its victims. Far too many time a noobie gets elected to congress saying all the right things and then shortly thereafter they go native.

Best I can piece together, control over DC politicos involves
--guided investments (money)
--hidden agenda (ideology)
--campaign financing (compromise)
--personal criminal activities (extortion)

I would love Cunningham to pen a tell all book about the system and how it works. Sadly, I don't see it ever making it to print, at least through traditional channels.

longeyes
September 1, 2006, 02:38 PM
And the fluff girls are the lobbyists.

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