Tuesday, August 29, 2006

s.2590

Legislation that would create a searchable database of federal funding recipients (s.2590) has been held up in the Senate by a secret hold, an informal Senate procedure that allows members to anonymously delay legislation.

The bill had widespread bipartisan support and seemed likely to pass before the anonymous Senator interfered. So who is this anonymous Senator that is barring better transparency from our government? And what does he/she have to hide?

Porkbusters.org has posted a suspect list and is eliminating the Senators who issue denials. Both Senators from NY are in the clear.

Let's hope the offending Senator will be revealed and shamed into rescinding the hold.

Update:
RedState believes Senator Stevens may be the culprit.

Update 2:
TPMmuckraker discovered that Coburn himself has accused Stevens. They speculate Stevens’ might be paying back Coburn for his failed attempt to block the infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’

Update 3:
Stevens has now admitted he placed the hold, claiming he was concerned about the cost of the program, which is an interesting excuse.
From TPMmuckraker:
“The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that Coburn's proposal would cost "$4 million in 2007 and about $15 million [total] over the 2007-2011 period." By comparison, Stevens -- who's been called the "King of Pork" by one government watchdog -- was recently publicly lambasted for his appropriation of more than $200 million for the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," which would link Ketchikan, Alaska (population 8,900) with its airport on Gravina Island (population 50).”

Let’s see, a Senator that pushed a bill that costs $200 million and benefits 50 Alaskans is criticizing a program that benefits the general public and costs $15 million over 4 years. How does he do that with a straight face?

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