McCaskill presses GOP to reveal holds

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is trying to flush out Senate Republicans who have placed secret holds on nearly 80 of President Barack Obama’s nominees.

McCaskill asked for unanimous consent to vote on the 18 nominees. In response, Republicans allowed Democrats to confirm Stuart Nash, a nominee to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, but objected to the other nominees.

McCaskill said that under Senate procedural rules passed in 2007, Republicans who have placed anonymous holds on nominees would have to reveal themselves within six days. 

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“Section 512 of the law we passed in January of 2007 says that once the unanimous consent motion is made on a nominee, the member who is holding that nominee has to file a letter explaining their hold and that has to be published in the Congressional record,” said McCaskill.

The lawmaker said she would return to the floor to ask for unanimous consent to proceed to nearly 60 other nominees.

McCaskill said a total of about 80 nominees have passed through various committees without objection but have been held up on the Senate floor by various GOP senators who are trying to use them as bargaining chips.

McCaskill said that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has been very supportive of the effort to force GOP lawmakers to own up to placing secret holds.