Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding 01-27-11 on Jan 27th, 2011 :: 0:10:10 to 0:15:45
Total video length: 5 hours 46 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Ron Wyden

0:10:06 to 0:10:26( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: that and i congratulate senator wyden and his grassley, and others for their efforts. the presiding officer: the senator from mr. wyden: while we wait for senator grassley, who senator alexander has mentioned has just been relentlessly pursuing this

Ron Wyden

0:10:10 to 0:15:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden

0:10:27 to 0:10:49( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: with us for years again and again senator grassley would come -- come to the floor and make the point that the united states senator -- united states senator ought to have the guts, just ought to have the guts to stand up and say, look, this is important to me. i'm the individual who ought to be held accountable.

Ron Wyden

0:10:50 to 0:11:10( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: and senator grassley in that midwestern way just always manages to get these issues down to what they're really all about. it's about accountability. and, as senator grassley says, it's really about guts. i would also mention what's striking about the secret hold, mr. president, is that

Ron Wyden

0:11:11 to 0:11:31( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: astounding power -- and i think it's only fair to describe it that way. i mean i know of few powers that an elected official has that resemble the ability to anonymously block a bill or a nomination that affects millions of people.

Ron Wyden

0:11:32 to 0:11:53( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: it is an astounding power and for years and years it has never been written down anywhere. now, as part of the ethics legislation that was passed a few years ago, we were able to get a watered-down version of

Ron Wyden

0:11:54 to 0:12:16( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: secret holds reform in there. but literally to think that a power like this so sweeping, almost unrivaled in terms of the powers an elected official has could be exercised in secret is something worth reflecting about in and of itself. i will also tell -- tell colleagues that for those who

Ron Wyden

0:12:17 to 0:12:37( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: want to get into the history of this, there are all kinds of holds. there was the revolving, you know, hold. there were a number of different ones, but my favorite over time was the may west hold which came to also be known as the come

Ron Wyden

0:12:38 to 0:12:58( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: look me over hold which was almost as if a united states senator was declaring that they weren't sure what they wanted to do with -- with their hold, but somebody ought to come up and see them sometime. and it just goes to -- to show you that these kinds of -- of

Ron Wyden

0:12:59 to 0:13:19( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: practices -- and this is what has been good with the work done by senator schumer, senator alexander, my friend and colleague from oregon, senator merkley and senator udall have been so important because for the first time they have brought out into real debate what these rules are all about.

Ron Wyden

0:13:20 to 0:13:41( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: and my hope is that this will just be beginning of the discussion, mr. president, about how in the days ahead it will be possible to bring more sunshine and more transparency to the united states senate. but senator grassley, who has made this point in the past

Ron Wyden

0:13:42 to 0:14:03( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: about doing business in public, that the principle at stake is accountability and transparency has made the case for a long time and has additionally told senators that since he -- and there have been a number of us have always put our holds in the congressional record.

Ron Wyden

0:14:04 to 0:14:25( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: and i haven't used them very often. senator grassley has made the point that colleagues will find that when they do it, it doesn't hurt at all. that, in fact, not only do they not suffer any detrimental consequences, but they do it, the public thinks more of them.

Ron Wyden

0:14:26 to 0:14:49( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: one final point, mr. president, as we wait for senator grassley is that i'm particularly interested in having holds reform enacted as part of our work today because the secret hold is a huge bonanza for the lobb the lobbyists can, as we've seen

Ron Wyden

0:14:50 to 0:15:10( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: year after year, go to a united states senator, say, you know, it had be a big -- it would be a big favor to me if you put a hold on something so we'd get a little more time to have a chance to make our case. sometimes you have competing lobbyists asking for holds, so you have one united

Ron Wyden

0:15:11 to 0:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: states senator putting a secret hold on a piece of legislation making a whole array of lobbyists happy. sunshine will be good for the united states senate. it will certainly be good because it will shine the hot light on some of these lobbyists' practices that we

Ron Wyden

0:15:32 to 0:15:47( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: have been trying to discourage here on the floor of the united states senate. mr. president, i've just been notified that senator grassley is unavoidably detained. note go -- he is not going to make it to the floor at this time. but on behalf of myself and

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