McCaskill Predicts Senate Action Soon on Secret Holds

Posted June 21, 2010 at 6:02pm

The Senate could move to end the practice of secret holds in the coming weeks, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Monday.

“I have a sense it’s something we need to get done in the next few weeks,” she told reporters. “The question is, will someone put a secret hold on it?”

Over the weekend, McCaskill announced she won the support of enough colleagues to adopt a standing rule to ban the practice of secret holds, a Senate maneuver that she argues is misused to stall action on routine bills and pending nominees.

So far, 66 Senators have signed on to McCaskill’s petition to end the practice, which also has the backing of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Sen. Robert Byrd (W.Va.) is the only Democrat who has not signed on to the petition.

McCaskill is scheduled to testify about her proposal before the Rules and Administration Committee on Wednesday. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who have a separate measure to rein in the use of secret holds, are also scheduled to appear. McCaskill said Monday night that she will work with Wyden on a compromise that could make its way to the Senate floor this year.