Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri s about to accomplish what once seemed impossible–a major reform of Senate rules, which requires a two thirds vote of the Senate, 67 in total!
With the backing of nine Republicans and 58 Democrats, all but Robert Byrd of West Virginia, McCaskill is promoting the end of “anonymous holds” on presidential nominations. A senator could still put a “hold” on a nominee, but would have to be revealed publicly.
This tactic has been used a lot by several senators, among them being James Inhofe and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Richard Shelby of Alabama. But many times, these and other Republicans have done it secretly, sometimes stalling as many as 70 nominations without having to take responsibility for their actions.
This is a necessary first step to make the Senate more able to deal with the legislative agenda. It is infuriating that a minority can hold up action without responsibility! 🙁
The fact that McCaskill has been able to gain the support of nine Republicans, including two who are leaving the Senate this year (Christopher Bond of Missouri and Sam Brownback of Kansas), is an amazing feat! 🙂
Let’s hope it can lead to other updating of archaic Senate rules, which has helped to paralyze that body, and make it seem out of touch to the American people! 🙁