Wyden, Grassley want end to secret holds as part of Wall Street reform bill

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) are moving to end senators' ability to place secret holds as part of Wall Street legislation.

The two senators submitted an amendment to the Wall Street overhaul bill that requires senators to provide written intent to place a hold on legislation. Senators can use holds to delay or scuttle legislation or nominations.

The amendment would require senators to write to either their Senate Majority Leader or Senate Minority Leader. The written notice would then be required to be published in the congressional record two days later.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday he has been concerned with secret holds, and that he knew senators, including Wyden, were working on the issue.

"In what we have here, there are no Democratic holds. They're gone. There are scores and scores of Republican holds. They have been asked to follow the law and they refuse to do so. The law is after a set number of days, they're supposed to state in the Congressional Record why they have the holds. They refuse to do that," Reid said.

Wyden and Grassley introduced similar legislation in April.

“For far too long, secret holds have been a staple of the Senate and there’s no question that both Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the current abuses,” Grassley is announcing the legislation.

"The bottom line is that if you can’t make a good public case for why you are doing something, you shouldn’t be doing it,” said Wyden.