Another Holder. Shall We Go Another Round?

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Aug 31, 2006 1:36 AM

A Dem this time?

Flip has the scoop.

Update: Awww, crap.

[UPDATE BY ERICK] RedState has been told reliably that Sen. Byrd is the Democrat who also has a hold on the bill.

Wait, does this mean we're both winners? No one loses? How very new-agey and sensitive of us. A new era for the right-wing blogosphere. I think I liked it better when only I won.

Update: Flip has confirmation that the second hold was Byrd, and that he's lifted it.

Senator Byrd wanted time to read the legislation, understand its implications, and see whether the proposal could be improved. Now that there has been time to better understand the legislation, Senator Byrd has released his hold. Senator Byrd believes that the bill should be debated and opened for amendment, and not pushed through without discussion.

Sure he did. Ham's on its way.

Update: Instapundit is rounding up.

TPM Muckraker has the whole Byrd statement.

The admission story:

But Byrd is unapologetic about using his hold power.
“The American people ought to demand that bills receive scrutiny by senators before those bills are approved,” Gavin said. “We have seen the consequences of rushing legislation through the Senate without any time for review or understanding.”

The "consequences" he's referring to include all the pork he's hunted and gathered over the years, which would become much harder to grab should this particular bill rush through the Senate.

Update: From the Congressional Record, Aug. 1, 2003, during discussion of S. Res. 216, "Establishing as a standing order of the Senate a requirement that a Senator publicly discloses a notice of intent to object to any measure or matter." (emphasis mine)

Lott: As a result of that hearing, I worked with the sponsors of the resolution and with Senator Byrd to develop what we believe is an appropriate way to resolve the problem of anonymous holds. The resolution we are introducing today reflects that work.

...the Senate Resolution being submitted today by Senator LOTT along with the distinguished Senator from West Virginia, Senator Byrd, myself and Senator WYDEN. This resolution aims to end the practice of secret holds in the Senate...

Grassley: I should add at this time that I'm very honored to have the support of Senator BYRD on this initiative. No one knows Senate procedure better or has more institutional knowledge of the Senate than Senator BYRD. Both he and Senator LOTT have a unique understanding of the problem of secret holds, having both served as Senate Majority Leader. Having Senator BYRD's name on this resolution should send a strong message to the Senate that secret holds are a serious problem that should be dealt with for the good of the Senate as an institution.

Wyden: I especially want to thank Rules Chairman Lott and the Senate's foremost authority on the Rules, Senator Byrd, for their commitment to working with us on this resolution. They know all too well the havoc ``secret'' holds can wreak on the Senate agenda.

The Lott-Byrd-Grassley-Wyden resolution would bring the anonymous hold out of the shadows of the Senate.

I would like to close by quoting the foremost authority on Senate Rules, who served as Majority Leader in the 95th, 96th and 100th Congresses. In Chapter 28, "Reflections of a Party Leader," of Volume II of The Senate, the Honorable ROBERT C. BYRD wrote: "To me, the Senate rules were to be used, when necessary, to advance and expedite the Senate's business.''

Hee. Politicians, huh? God love 'em, especially the really old, tricky, shameless ones.

I'm not anti-secret-hold in general, by the way, for reasons discussed here. Just had to point out Byrd's, err, would it be too overdone to call it a flip-flop? Whatever, I'm goin' for it. It's 2004 again and Britney is hot!