The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Senate 'hold' gets namechecked at Bolton committee meeting

The intervention of the day at yesterday's meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was, of course, that of Sen George Voinovich of Ohio [1].

Notable from my viewpoint is his reference to the hold he put on Richard Holbrooke's nomination by Clinton as UN Ambassador [2].

Holbrooke's nomination was held up for no less than 14 months by holds.

Why not Bolton's? Are they any holds entered [3] against Bolton right now?

Why aren't Democratic senators brandishing holds left, right and centre against these bad nominations and worse bills? Why hasn't the left of the blogosphere gone hold-crazy - in the same way it went Gannon-crazy over that queer GOP saddo?

As ever, this blog is essentially an exercise in self-education. So the answer in all cases is, I don't know.

But then, six months ago, I'd never heard of a Senate hold.

  1. I haven't found a transcript: a (low bitrate) clip of the Voinovich offering is available from Crooks and Liars. It starts around 10:00.

  2. A cursory search suggests it was a whole big deal back in 1999. According to a CNN piece, in addition to Voinovich, Lott, Grassley and McConnell had also applied holds to Holbrooke's confirmation.

    It's worthy of note that the reason for his Holbrooke hold that Voinovich gave to the committee yesterday is different from those given in 1999: yesterday, he said it was about Holbrooke's personal skills - being an arrogant guy; but in 1999,

    Not only does Voinovich want to make sure there is a recorded vote on the nomination, but "he has concerns about Holbrooke's nomination for policy reasons," said Mike Dawson, a spokesman for Voinovich.
    Note that CNN goes so far as to editorialise:
    The holds presumably are unrelated to Holbrooke's qualifications for the job.
    Voinovich is now saying precisely that!

  3. If that's the term. There can be no official term because Holds are unofficial!

    And there is no way of knowing for sure - unless a senator volunteers the information because holds are secret.


The UPI report linked above is the only report of yesterda's committee meeting that mentions Voinovich namechecking his Holbrooke Senate hold. Neither the LA Times piece or the Post piece does, for example.

Why not? Is it deemed too nasty and technical for the poor little reader? Or is it beyond the expertise of the poor little journo? (A problem I discussed in the context of the 'death tax'/Paris Hilton bill on April 15.)

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