Explain to me how a country can function at it's best with key positions vacant, due to the ransom demands of a greedy and cynical senator. Republicans have been placing arbitrary holds on nominees since the inauguration (surprised?), but this particular action is perfect for Democrats to seize upon - and the public should raise hell at this fantastic hypocrisy (fat chance)."While holds are frequent," CongressDaily's Dan Friedman and Megan Scully report, "Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal."Shelby has been tight-lipped about the holds, offering only an unnamed spokesperson to reporters today to explain them. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke the news of the blanket hold this afternoon after Shelby announced it to him in a letter sent today. Reid aides toldCongressDaily the hold extends to "all executive nominations on the Senate calendar."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:- 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."
Thursday, February 4, 2010
EXPOSE HYPOCRISY WHERE IT IS FOUND
Republicans, who crow about earmarks and government spending whilst simultaneously purporting to put "country first," have a tough one on their hands - but only if they are forced to account. Senator Richard Shelby (Alabama) has placed a blanket hold on ALL of the President's nominees to fill key positions in government. Why? To get the spending candy he wants for his state, and to throw a wrench in the system: