$40bn and you get the Senate back unharmed
February 5, 2010 3:19 PM Subscribe
Richard Shelby Shuts the Government Down.
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has announced a "blanket hold" on 70+ scheduled executive nominations, effectively bringing the Senate to a screeching halt by defying the Senate's staid and gentlemanly tradition of unanimous consent. [T]he practical effect of a hold [...] is that the Senate may have to spend weeks on end dealing with this one bill and its amendments. [A] congressional expert [...] said he knew of no previous use of a blanket hold.
Shelby's office confirms that the holds are in retaliation for the slow progress of $40,000,000,000 in federal pork to his state. Or maybe it's because President Obama and Rahm Emanuel are stacking the appropriations deck against Alabama. The White House responds, but Republican leadership has no comment.
Has Shelby overplayed his hand; could this blow up in his face?
Just a few years ago, Shelby supported changing Senate Rules to require only a simple majority for nominees, which would eliminate the "hold" altogether.
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