May 7th, 2010
03:39 PM ET
8 years ago

Republicans won't budge on secret holds on Obama nominees

Sen. Claire McCaskill is spearheading efforts to banish secret holds.

Sen. Claire McCaskill is spearheading efforts to banish secret holds.

Washington (CNN) - Frustrated Democrats went to the Senate floor Friday to seek Republican approval for a long list of administration nominees currently blocked by controversial secret holds placed by GOP senators.

But a Republican senator objected to each of them as they came up.

"Most of the people on the list, we don't know why they're sitting there. We don't even know who's making them sit there," complained Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, who is spearheading Democratic efforts to banish secret holds. "Enter stage left, the anonymous hold. Or as I like to call it, nobody can blame me cause they don't know who I am."

McCaskill said the delay in approving these nominees is particularly agonizing because most of them passed out of committee with little or no opposition.

"If there is a legitimate complaint or grievance against any nominee, I think any senator has a right to be heard and appeal to the body for a vote," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the number two Democrat, said Thursday. "But secret holds, I think, have become a reprehensible part of the process here and need to end."

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Filed under: Congress • GOP • President Obama
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Az Senior

    And that is exactly why incumbents need to be voted out – DO YOUR JOB," POLITICIANS" (that is the most derogatory name I can think of)

    May 7, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Democrats complain the secret holds keep the Obama administration from being able to effectively govern


    The GOP doesn't get it, nor would it care if it did. They are DESPERATE to regain power for THEMSELVES to the point of compromising national security by not allowing these key posts to be filled. Yet still the President thrives.

    The analogy that comes to mind is that of a quarterback (Obama) with everyone expecting him to win the game.....with only 6 players on the field.

    The RethugliKKKlans attempt to sink this President and take us with him IS backfiring. You keep doing the same thing in plain view, objecting for objection's sake, and more and more people will start taking notice, and not in a good way either.

    Obama 2012 ALL THE WAY BABY!!!

    May 7, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Good

    Don't worry Clair, come Nov. you will have over 70 Dems senators.

    May 7, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It's past time to just say NO to Republicans to let them know we don't like obstructionist who sit in Washington doing nothing.

    May 7, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Blocking all of Obama's nominees in secret is what the Republican leadership means when they say "Bipartisan". They claim to be trying for a bipartisan approach in running the country when they are accountable. However, if there is a way to block the normal functioning of the government without being identifiable, blocking the functions of governing is perfectly OK. Then later, when the appointees are finally approved and trying to get a feel for their departments and going through the usual difficulties of taking over a new leadership position, the Republicans will point out that Democrats have those departments in a shamble. And that if the Republicans were in charge such disarray would not be happening.

    Which, come to think of it, might be true. After all, the Republicans wouldn't have to put up with all the dirty tricks they themselves use so successfully.

    May 7, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    If the democrats get rid of this rule (which of course they put in to screw over Bush nominees) I am sure the will try to put it back in when the new congress comes in and we throw that lying, corrupt. union infested joke we have as a president out in 2012.

    May 7, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. dora

    Don't vote out the incumbants, vote out the obstructionists! Secret holds???? where the HE77 do they think they are? The former Soviet Union??? Demand the truth!! Take the commercials out of the evening news! Let's have the truth, not the corporate spin we get now.
    the truth doesn't favor one side or the other. let us make our own decisions please!!

    May 7, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. dora

    Excellent point ThinkAgain!!! Well said!

    May 7, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    Yep. The Grand Old Party. All about God, Country, and the American flag. Aren't these the same obstructionists who decry a weakened National Security to all news organizations that willingly give them air time? Yet, here they are, refusing to nominate or bring forth arguments over as innocuous a position as head of the Peace Corps - let alone debate the nomination of the individual picked to head TSA.

    Meanwhile, President Obama has done one a heck of a job, INSPITE of these obstructionists!

    May 7, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Edna

    No matter the issue, Republicans have no intention of working to help the American country. Government can not work if the Senate refuses to work and Republicans are refusing to work. We read where Rove and his bunch are forming alliances to take back the House, Senate and White House. Why? They don't want to work!!!! I would never vote for a Republican after what I have seen in these last 18 months of obstruction from them. They are a disgrace to this country.

    May 7, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Twainland

    Wow. The GOP not budging? That's so out of character for them.

    May 7, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. jack

    More than two hundred years later George Washington's greatest fear is coming true. He said." my biggest fear is that politicians will become more loyal to their party than their country."

    His biggest fear for our young democracy has now come true. Good thing he is not here to be embarrassed by his prediction.

    To the party of NO. I say NO THANK YOU! I will not only vote against you but will actively work for your defeat.

    May 7, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Marty, FL

    This secrecy nonsense from politicians should be outlawed from our government. Where is the tea partier outrage against this backroom dealing? It should not be treated any differently when it comes from Republicans...

    Otherwise, it creates a glaring double standard.

    May 7, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Peejay

    Secret holds and secret handshakes – the party of arrested development.

    May 7, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Libertarian

    I do not favor the Dems but they did win the election. The GOP needs to get over the loss and stop trying to undermine the administration. These posts need to be filled now! The GOP knows that things are not getting done because the posts are vacant and then the blame the administration for not getting anything done! These guys need to go.

    May 7, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Dave

    Why should Republicans collaborate with Obama's extreme liberal agenda?

    May 7, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. GL


    May 7, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Mark

    And these are the guys who told the Democrats to sit down and shut up under Bush because their job was "to advise and CONSENT"

    The Democrats under Bush held up maybe a dozen appointments -temporarily – in 8 years. The Republicans kept some positions empty pretty much the entire Clinton years, and are doing the same now.

    The same cowardly, hypocritical, do-as-i-say,not-as-i-do behavior that typifies the Republican party.

    May 7, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. Willa-PA

    Ditto with everything said in the first 26 post so far...

    May 7, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. Marie MD

    Then the repugs wonder why we can't anything done in DC. Goodness, it's not as if they are standing in the way of progress regardless of what they perceive this progress to be.

    May 7, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Wisconsinite

    "secret holds placed by GOP senators"

    SECRET holds???? SECRET???!!!!! How DARE they! Throw every single, solitary one of them in jail for treason, is what I say!

    May 7, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Dano

    What cowards the GOP has become. They continue their pattern of stall and obstruct on every issue, but they aren't brave enough to do it outwardly and must hide behind procedural gimmicks. If they won't do the job they're being paid to do then America needs to show them the door this November!

    May 7, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Michelle

    To call one party in this country anything close to the Taliban is not only way over the top, it dishonors the thousands oppressed and killed under that regime.

    Use that head of yours and gain some appreciation for the world outside our borders. Its the type of arrogance displayed here on a daily basis that makes us hated.

    May 7, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Work Together

    As many recall, this is why Bush made these same appointments after Congress went on Recess! But if Obama does the same thing, the GOP'ers will cry foul!

    In the courts we have a right o face our accuser.....there should be NO secret holds.

    The Democrats and Republicans need to CREATE AND PASS LEGISLATION...not sit there and play 'tit for tat' recalling partisan actions taken YEARS ago, and trying to hinder and make the other party look bad.

    Quit fighting in the Sandbox and get to work...BOTH PARTIES!!!!

    May 7, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. cassamandra

    GOP acting like children. I hope this story spreads and that the people will finally see those spineless clowns for who they are.

    May 7, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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