Republicans in the US Senate continue to block the nominations of Barack Obama. This tactic of obstructionism needs to be ended. If Congress wonders why Americans have such a low rating of Congress, this is a prime reason. Tactics like the filibuster and secret holds on nominations contribute to a dysfunctional government.
Of course this fits the Republican Agenda of trying to stop Obama’s Agenda for Change. Repubicans hope Americans will blame the Democrats rather than them for the consequences of not getting things done because government posts and judicial seats are still unfilled almost a year and a half after Obama took office.
The New York Times in an editorial today notes that “there are 52 nominees on secret holds – all noncontroversial in committee debates.” As the New York Times explains:
The United States Senate was supposed to have dropped its insidious tradition that let members put endless secret holds on nominations and other important matters. The abuse continues, more murky than ever.
The reform, adopted three years ago, required senators to identify themselves within six days of blocking a nominee, and to state their objection. That stricture has been routinely violated with cheesy gamesmanship. Members — mostly in the Republican minority — pass secret holds among themselves to foil the time limit.
At the end of March, Obama made his first Recess appointments to end the Republican Senatorial roadblock 15 of his appointments. But the roadblock still continues for many other nominees. The New York Times editorial noted that the Senate has confirmed only 45% of Obama’s judicial nominees to date.
Americans need to contact their Senators and urge an end to this juvenile practice. Elections have consequences and the losers needs to acknowledge this and let the winner put their choices in place to do the people’s business.