Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In defense of secret holds

Tim Chapman:
"More often than not it is conservatives — anti pork, limited government types — who employ the secret hold. They use the hold to slow down legislation that is incessantly offered by liberals in the Senate. Legislation that would appropriate x amount of billions of dollars to this or that socially acceptable and politically popular cause is often the target of these holds. Why? because without a hold the bill goes to the Senate floor and passes with unanimous consent for fear of opposing a politically popular piece of legislation that is often either not constitutional or further bloats the federal government. In this case, unamous consent is often anything but…it is more like unanimous ignorance."
I'm not buying it. One member of the Senate should not have the power to stop or delay deliberation and approval or denial of proposed legislation. Recalling the practice of holds with respect to Presidential appointments, neither should one Senator be allowed to prevent the entire Senate from voting for or against (and in public for all to see) a presidential appointment. Don't we elect responsible leaders? If we do, and if they have staffs, then why would we think a secret hold is necessary to shine a public light on the legislation? Why would we think our elected representatives would cast an ignorant and uninformed vote? I'm not buying it.

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