McCaskill says she has votes to end Senate practice of secret holds

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillOvernight Tech: Cable, satellite providers on the hot seat | A win for privacy groups | C-SPAN turns to Periscope during sit-in | Sandberg makes Facebook's case to conservatives Dems end Senate takeover after nearly 15 hours Senate panel approves net neutrality exemption bill for small providers MORE (D-Mo.) said Saturday she's secured the votes to force a rules change ending the Senate's practice of secret holds.

McCaskill said on Twitter that she had secured the support of two more senators to give her the 67 votes necessary to change the rules in the Senate to abolish the traditional practice of being able to anonymously hold up nominees to positions requiring Senate confirmation.

Sens. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) were the last two signatories.

McCaskill tweeted Saturday:


First battle won!With Sens Bond and Brownbeck now have 67 Senators on my letter calling for the end to secret holds.Now gotta get a vote.

66 senators have signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidIowa poll: Clinton up 14 on Trump, Grassley in tight race with Dem Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton creates firestorm for email case The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Nev.) in support of the rules change, and Reid has said he supports the change, too, but did not sign the letter since it was addressed to him.

McCaskill said earlier this month that she was two votes shy of ending the practice, which gives minority party senators the ability to hold up nominees. Republicans have used the privilege to some effect against President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFormer CIA chief shuts down Trump's calls for waterboarding Clinton camp: Trump's fundraising 'bragging is total bunk' Football coach Ditka: 'Happy' to speak at GOP convention but not invited MORE's nominees, most notably senior Sen. Richard Shelby's (R-Ala.) hold earlier this year on 70 of the president's picks for various positions requiring federal confirmation.

Whether Reid schedules a vote this year will be key to ending the practice. Bond and Brownback will both leave the Senate at the end of their terms next year, as will Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.), another Republican in support of changing the rule on secret holds.


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