Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) pinned a backlog of executive branch nominees on Thursday on an "organized party strategy" by Republicans.

Durbin said Republicans have mounted a concerted effort to halt President Barack Obama's nominees for executive branch positions because they believe it could politically damage the president.

"I'm just going to go out on a limb and say it is an organized party strategy," Durbin said of the stalled nominations in an interview with Ezra Klein of the Washington Post.

"The subplot is that Republicans think if they hold up the nominees they're stacking up bargaining chips and they're hurting Barack Obama," the second-ranking Senate Democrat added.

Democrats have sought to bring up the issue of the numerous secret holds Republican senators have placed on Obama's nominees, with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) having released a letter to party leaders featuring the signatures of over half the Senate opposing the traditional practice. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has also reportedly been working on legislation that would curtail the amount of time for which a senator could anonymously hold up a nomination.

"It stops him because he can't fill his government with the nominees he needs or fill the vacancies on the bench that he is supposed to fill," Durbin reasoned as to why Republicans might think they stand to benefit by stalled nominees.