The end of secret holds


We are another step closer to the end of secret holds in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has placed the Secret Holds Elimination Act on the Senate calendar making it easy for Reid to call the bill up for a vote. The Secret Holds Elimination Act would require senators to publicly disclose all holds placed on nominations and legislation. Here’s the press release from Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office:

Legislation authored by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) and Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) to eliminate a senator’s ability to obstruct legislation in secret was placed on the Senate calendar today, opening the door for a definitive up or down vote on the legislation. The modified version of the “Secret Holds Elimination Act”- previously introduced by Wyden and Grassley – will require that all holds be submitted in writing and disclosed after one legislative day.

The three have now joined forces to introduce a new version of the Secret Holds Elimination Act. The legislation will require that all holds on legislation and nominees be submitted in writing and automatically printed in the Congressional Record after one legislative day, whether the bill or nomination has been brought up for floor consideration or not. The latter provision will eliminate the all-too-common practice of secret holds being used to indefinitely prevent bills from reaching the Senate floor.