Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) placed a hold on 70 executive nominations…yes 70…meaning the Democrats need to muster 60 votes to proceed to a debate to proceed to another cloture vote, or wait until Shelby nicely releases the holds…and you wonder why people don’t trust the government with their healthcare?
Why would a Republican Senator put a blanket hold on nearly six dozen executive nominations?
According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama’s nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. CongressDaily laid out the programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:
cause we need to cut spending, don-cha-no?
What is so important that the good Senator, who is so concerned about the deficit, would be willing spend billions of dollars and hold up 70 nominations indefinitely for?
A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From the report: “Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals.”
– An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: “[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won’t build” the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based “at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.”
Yep, that’s right. The party so concerned with deficits and spending want to spend in a deficit, but so long as it benefits them, and they’re willing to hold up the government to do it!
It’s not as if Shelby has an ideological reason to oppose all seventy of these nominations. Today Martha Johnson was confirmed unanimously by the Senate to head the General Services Administration…eight months after being nominated. Who held her up? Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri). Was he opposed to her for some major reason? Nope, he voted for her confirmation, but held her up for months over a dispute about a government building in Kansas City.
Surely the media is all over it…right?
The cable news and newspaper like the Washington Post are too busy having conniptions over the fact that the underwear bombing got read Miranda rights, or going gaga over the new senator from Massachusetts.
The LA Times actually did mention it…but;
“the nomination became another example for the Obama administration of how the political process in Washington has been poisoned by politics that often have nothing to do with the merits.
Another words, Oh well Obama, this is how it is, just deal with it!
Now the cynic in me says these holds have nothing to do with the excuses these Senators are giving. Please, it’s not hard for any Senator to get the money they requested allocated, nor is it hard to get these projects built. The cynic in me sees these excuse as just excuses meant to cover up the real goal of the Republicans…to use every loophole given to the minority power in GOOD FAITH to create a dysfunctional government, and then blame the Democrats for the dysfunction and regain power that way.
The danger here is not merely in the idea that the GOP obstructionism will work, bringing them back into power…which is bad enough…but that when it happens, the Democrats will just do what the Republicans did to them and our future will nothing but partisan score-settling.
Now normally you’d think not all 41 Republicans would find what Shelby is going agreeable. After all where’s John McCain is his pork-busting persona? Surely he’d disagree with Shelby’s actions, holding up nominees for pork? Right? What about the Mavericks from Maine?
They’re quiet. Should they decide to do the right thing and vote against Shelby’s obstruction, they would be the deciding votes to break his old…but they’re not. Even THEY take the side of this crap.
How do you find common ground with these people?