Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on May 7th, 2010 :: 0:22:00 to 0:31:00
Total video length: 3 hours 33 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:207 Duration: 0:09:00 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Claire McCaskill

0:21:56 to 0:22:17( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: lines to be able to do so. mr. president, i yield the i thank all of you for listening. ms. klochar: mr. president? -- mrs. mccaskill: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mrs. mccaskill: mr. president, i rise this morning in the cause of common sense in how the senate works.

Claire McCaskill

0:22:00 to 0:31:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

0:22:18 to 0:22:38( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we have had so many delays on nominations this year, just as a quick review of where we stand, we've had over 51 roll call votes on president obama's nominations to serve in government under his presidency. of those 51 votes, over 80% of them were by overwhelming

Claire McCaskill

0:22:39 to 0:22:59( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: margins, yet they sat on the calendar for more than three months on average. overwhelming support, sitting on the calendar for three months on average. for comparison here, at the similar point in the bush administration, there were eight nominees on the calendar.

Claire McCaskill

0:23:00 to 0:23:20( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: right now we have 107 nominees on the calendar. as i look at the list, i am confused because most of the people on the list, we don't know why they're sitting there. we don't know who's making them sit there.

Claire McCaskill

0:23:21 to 0:23:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: enter stage left, the anonymous hold. or as i like to call it, nobody can blame me because they don't know who i am. there is a law that we passed that had a rule in it; very plain language, very easy to

Claire McCaskill

0:23:42 to 0:24:03( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: understand that once a senator make a unanimous consent motion to confirm a nominee, then you've got to come out in sunlight. after six session days, after those nominations are made in terms of a unanimous consent motion for their confirmation, then the rule says that you must notify your party leader of your

Claire McCaskill

0:24:04 to 0:24:24( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: hold that you have on the nomination, and it has to be published in the "congressional record." so last week i came to the floor and made 74 unanimous consent nomination motions. now, who were those 74? this is the amazing part.

Claire McCaskill

0:24:25 to 0:24:45( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: this is really amazing. not one of the motions i made last week for unanimous consent had any opposition in committee. none. not a voice vote "no." no one spoke out and said "i have a problem." they flew out of committee, all 74 of them.

Claire McCaskill

0:24:46 to 0:25:08( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: but no one knows why they're sitting there or who's holding on to them. made the motion, and in the intervening week we've had a lot of activity in this regard. the first thing that happened is my friend from oklahoma followed the rule. he notified his party leader of the holds he had, and it was published in the "congressional record."

Claire McCaskill

0:25:09 to 0:25:30( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: he has a great habit of reading what we're doing around here. and when he read the rule, it was obvious to him that the rule said once the motion had been made, you say who your holds are. and he's never been afraid, my friend from oklahoma. haes never been afraid -- he has never been afraid to take accountability. i've seen him with great courage

Claire McCaskill

0:25:31 to 0:25:51( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: enrage this entire room because he had some principles he was standing on. he's a great role model in that regard. his principle stands, and he owns them. and that's all we're talking about here. we're talking about owning them. nobody in america gets why this stuff has to be secret.

Claire McCaskill

0:25:52 to 0:26:13( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i know he's got an amendment that he wants to offer on secret spending, and i would like on the record to say i would like to join him in that amendment. the spending, the secret spending that goes on through the hotline process, he's absolutely right. publishing this stuff for 72 hours, he's absolutely right.

Claire McCaskill

0:26:14 to 0:26:34( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: but this practice is absolutely wrong. unlike his other colleagues, he stepped out of the dark and into the sunshine. but no one else did. so now, a week later, we still have 53 of those 74 names, and we have no idea who's holding them or why. some of them have been confirmed

Claire McCaskill

0:26:35 to 0:26:55( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: of the 74 since then. a few. and then i think that the senator from oklahoma identified a hold on five or six, i believe. six or seven. so now we still have 53 names that no one knows who is holding them and people who are avoiding the rule. i had somebody come up to me the

Claire McCaskill

0:26:56 to 0:27:16( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: other day and say there's no enforcement. i said who would have thought you'd have to make it a misdemeanor for a senator to identify their hold. they voted for the bill. the vote was 96-2. so they voted for it. they just don't want to live by it. today i come back to the floor

Claire McCaskill

0:27:17 to 0:27:39( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: with my colleagues, and there will be a number of us here, to once again try to trigger the rule. unanimous consent motions will be made. today we have 69 names. the 53 from last week that are still out in the dark somewhere. we don't know who's holding them or why. and additional names that have

Claire McCaskill

0:27:40 to 0:28:00( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: been added to the calendar since then. 64 of the 69 motions we'll make today, 64 of the 69 motions we'll make today had no opposition in committee. none. and as we will hear over the

Claire McCaskill

0:28:01 to 0:28:21( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: next hour or so, these are important jobs. national traffic safety board, the inspector general for the e.p.a. can you imagine right now not having an inspector general at the e.p.a. with what's going on in the gulf? so i am -- the other good

Claire McCaskill

0:28:22 to 0:28:42( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: news -- and let me just briefly talk about this. i'm going to yield to my colleague from colorado. we have a letter going around. and the letter is very simple. everyone who signs the letter is taking a pledge, public pledge that they will never again participate in a secret hold. and further, that they support abolishing secret holds.

Claire McCaskill

0:28:43 to 0:29:03( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: if you want to hold somebody, you've got to put your name on it. and i am very proud of the fact that we now have 59 signatures on that letter, both republicans -- a republican so far, two independents and all of

Claire McCaskill

0:29:04 to 0:29:24( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the democrat, all of the democratic senators except one. m optimistic that we will get the last remaining democratic senator, senator byrd, since he cosponsored a resolution in 2003 along with senator wyden and grassley, who have done yeomen's work on this issue for years. the senator lott and senator byrd, along with senator

Claire McCaskill

0:29:25 to 0:29:46( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: grassley and senator wyden passed a resolution. sponsored a resolutio 2003 to try to end secret holds. and here we are seven years later with 53 nominees in the dark after the rule has been triggered. so i am optimistic. i certainly am hopeful that

Claire McCaskill

0:29:47 to 0:30:07( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we'll have a lot more republicans sign on the letter. i think we may have. the iceberg is moving. we may actually bust this thing up. i am wildly optimistic, which is an unusual thing around here about reform. it is hard to change the traditions of the senate, especially when they are bad habits.

Claire McCaskill

0:30:08 to 0:30:29( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: my colleague from oklahoma, he and i share the same view on earmarks and have tried from a principled position to not participate in those. i think that's also a bad habit. but clearly we've got a lot more people agreeing with us on secret holds than we do on earmarks. so i look forward to making these motions today.

Claire McCaskill

0:30:30 to 0:30:50( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i look forward to the senators reading the rule, acknowledging it and putting their name on these secret holds. hold a nominee. if the senator from oklahoma is holding some nominees -- he's got the right to do that -- but the people we work for have the right to know why and who he is. that's all we're asking for today. we're ol' not asking anybody to give up their holds.

Claire McCaskill

0:30:51 to 0:31:01( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we're only asking people to come out into the sunshine for the transparency that we all want to have as we serve the great people of this nation. t-and with that, for -- and with

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid