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Senate Proceeding 05-13-10 on May 13th, 2010 :: 1:39:15 to 1:48:20
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Ron Wyden

1:38:56 to 1:39:18( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: mr. dodd proposes amendment 3987 to amendment mr. dodd: senator, do you want to be heard on your amendment? mr. wyden: yes. mr. president, thank you very much. and let me particularly express my appreciation to the chairman of the full committee, senator dodd. he's been extraordinarily

Ron Wyden

1:39:15 to 1:48:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Ron Wyden

Ron Wyden

1:39:19 to 1:39:39( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: patienec large bipartisan coalition that has come together behind this amendment to ensure that fally the secret hold in the united states senate, one of the most powerful tools that a senator has here in the longer.

Ron Wyden

1:39:40 to 1:40:00( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: mr. president, you have done very good work on this issue, along with a number of colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and the reason we feel so strong is because the secret hold in the united states senate is an indefensibl violation of the public's right to know.

Ron Wyden

1:40:01 to 1:40:22( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: we all understand, every time we're home in our states, how frustrated people are with the way business is done in washington, d.c. one way to send a message that we're going to start doing business differently is to throw open the doors of government and to make sure that nominations and legislation that's important

Ron Wyden

1:40:23 to 1:40:44( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: gets debated in public and people actually get to see the give-and-take of colleagues on both sides of the aisle, democrats and republicans, that is essential to making good policy. now, most americans have no idea what a secret hold is, and i have said on many occasions that my guess is, a lot of them think

Ron Wyden

1:40:45 to 1:41:08( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: that this is some kind of haircentury or something. but the fact of the matter -- haircentury or something. but the fact of the matter is, this is an extraordinarily tool that senators have to affect the lives of our people, and it ought to be something that is exposed to public scrutiny and blic accountability.

Ron Wyden

1:41:09 to 1:41:29( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: when asked he robs banks, willie sutton said, that's where the money is. the secret holds is where the power is. what our bipartisan group has said is that it is wrong for a senator to block a piece of legislation or a nomination in secret by simply telling the leader of their party of their desire. what this has meant -- and there

Ron Wyden

1:41:30 to 1:41:50( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: have been scores and scores of these secret holds in recent years, mr. president -- is that one person, without any public disclosure whatever, can keep the american people from even ge peek at what is

Ron Wyden

1:41:51 to 1:42:11( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: public business. that's not right and it is time to eliminate public holds. in 2007, senators on both sides of the aisle sought to finally bring some sunlight to this practice. senator grassley, the distinguished senator from iowa, and i have worked on this for unfortunately, a number of

Ron Wyden

1:42:12 to 1:42:33( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: loopholes have been developed since that provision was accepted, and today too much senate business is done in the dark, unaccountable and away om public scrutiny and public exposure. this amendment closes the loopholes, and it is going to be enforced.

Ron Wyden

1:42:34 to 1:42:55( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: with this approach, every every single hold, is going to have a public owner within two days. and i want to close just briefly by describing how this would work. under this proposal, if a united states senator puts a hold on a bill or a nomination, they are required to submit a written notice in the "congressional

Ron Wyden

1:42:56 to 1:43:17( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: record" within two days. when that bill or nomination comes to the floor and any senator objects to its consideration on the grounds of a hold, one of two things is going to happen. either the senator placing the secret hold is going to have their name publicly released or the senator who objected on their behalf is going to own

Ron Wyden

1:43:18 to 1:43:39( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: that hold. that senator will own it. their name is going to be published in the congressional calendar. so for the first time after all of these months and months of debate about secret holds in the senate, there's going to be public pressure and there would be peer pressure on those who

Ron Wyden

1:43:40 to 1:44:02( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: try to doenate business behind closed doors. two last points with respect to reforms included in this amendment. the proposal eliminates the ability that a lift a hold before the current six-day period expires and never have it disclosed. mr. president, you and i have

Ron Wyden

1:44:03 to 1:44:24( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: talked a bit about this matter, of resrolg holds and the -- revolving holds and the six-day period. this has been a huge abuse. it allows a senator to do business in secret have a proposal. with this new -- never have a disclosure.

Ron Wyden

1:44:25 to 1:44:45( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: if the senate has a hold even for a minute, the hold will be disclosed. with the six-daytime period, a group of senators can pass a hold from one colleague to another and never have it discussed. by requiring all holds to be made pubc, it will be much more difficult to find new

Ron Wyden

1:44:46 to 1:45:06( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: senators to place revolving holds. last point, seems to me that in addition to taking a step that the country feels very strongly about, which is doing more public business in public, this is being done in a bipartisan way. this is being done in a way that can bring democrats and

Ron Wyden

1:45:07 to 1:45:27( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: republicans together, a way that doesn't involve a lot of finger pointing. and i want to just mention a number of colleagues that the president in the senate -- the distinguishedenator from virginia has had many constructive conversations with me about this. senator inhofe, senator collins joined senator grassley. senator inhofe has been talking

Ron Wyden

1:45:28 to 1:45:49( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: about this issue with me and others for almost a decade as well. senator bennett, senator merkley, senatorhitehouse, all of these senators, a large bipartisan g to urge the passage of this amendment. i want to single out two, though, for a particular commendation. we wouldn't be on this floor

Ron Wyden

1:45:50 to 1:46:12( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: today had not the senator from missouri, senator mccaskill, prosecuted this cause relentlessly. she has brought to light a number of holds. when we've talked about it, she's made the point that this is going on on both sides of the aisle.

Ron Wyden

1:46:13 to 1:46:34( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: she deserves great credit for this today. let me also thank senator coburn, dr. coburn of oklahoma. he has been very involved in reform issues for many years. we're looking forward to an additional reform that he's going to be advanci, that i look forward to sponsoring. and i wrap up only by way of trying to highlight that after the senate has spent a lot of

Ron Wyden

1:46:35 to 1:46:55( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: time discussing secret holds over the last few months, on a bipartisan basis the senate comes together today with an approach that has actually brought senators together, is going to ensure that every single secret hold is going to have an owner. that's going to be a big change.

Ron Wyden

1:46:56 to 1:47:19( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: it is high time the public deserves to have public business actually done in public. and with the adoption of this amendment, that will be done. mr. president, the chairman of the full committee has been very, very gracious to me. i would like to ask for the yeas and nays at this time.

Ron Wyden

1:47:20 to 1:47:42( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: if i could engage the chairman -- if i could engage the chairman of the full committee in a colloquy? you have been very, very helpful with respect to scheduling this. mr. chairmanis it your pleasure that now having debated this, we set it aside for a vote later in the mr. dodd: my pleasure is that

Ron Wyden

1:47:43 to 1:48:05( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: we get to vote on the wyden-grassley amendment. so whenever that can occur, i'm for it. we can do it right now; i'm for it now. mr. wyden: i'm ready to go to the yeas and nays, mr. president. i would ask for the yeas and nays. mr. president, i would withdraw that request. i thank the chairman --

Ron Wyden

1:48:06 to 1:48:20( Edit History Discussion )

Ron Wyden: mr. dodd: it's not my sole decision. mr. wyden: the chairman of the full committee has been very, very patient with us on it. he's done an extraordinary amount of work on this. let us, with that request, hold

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