There seems to be a recurring theme with transparency legislation. Senators just love to block these types of bills. There are three possibilities here: (1) senators fear transparency and openness, (2) senators have legitimate questions, (3) senators have a base need to remind everyone of the true definition of irony (they’re still mad at Alanis Morrisette).
Into this theme steps Sen. Jim DeMint, blocker of a bill that would end the practice of secret holds in the Senate. DeMint joins the pantheon of such greats as Sens. Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd who placed secret holds on a bill to create an online database of federal spending (USASpending.gov) and sundry Republican senators who stood up to secretly block a bill to require senators to file their campaign finance reports electronically. Take a bow, senator.
Now, as Politico reports, DeMint, who previously derailed the secret hold legislation successfully with secondary amendments related to guns and other unrelated nonsense, has offered to drop his objection to the bill if another piece of transparency legislation is attached to it. This would be the Coburn-McCaskill bill to require all bills that are “hotlined” to be posted online with a cost estimate three-days before they come to the floor.
This sounds like a far more reasonable compromise than any of the other proposed amendments to the bill that DeMint has offered in the past. It’s much better to attatch a related provision than a non sequitor provision about guns or border fences. That being said, I still can’t figure out which one of three categories that DeMint fits into above.
Let’s hope they find a way to end the secret hold practice soon.