Sen. Shelby (R) Blocks All Obama Nominations In The Senate Over AL Earmarks

Sky Blue

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Jan 8, 2005
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Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

"While holds are frequent," CongressDaily's Dan Friedman and Megan Scully report (sub. req.), "Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal."

The Mobile Press-Register picked up the story early this afternoon. The paper confirmed Reid's account of the hold, and reported that a Shelby spokesperson "did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking confirmation of the senator's action or his reason for doing so."
Shelby has been tight-lipped about the holds, offering only an unnamed spokesperson to reporters today to explain them. Aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke the news of the blanket hold this afternoon. Reid aides told CongressDaily the hold extends to "all executive nominations on the Senate calendar."

According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama's nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. The two programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:

- A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From CongressDaily: "Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals." Federal Times offers more details on the tanker deal, and also confirms its connection to the hold.

- An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: "[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won't build" the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based "at the Army's Redstone Arsenal."

Though a Shelby spokesperson would not confirm that these programs were behind the blanket hold, the Senator expressed his frustration about the progress on both through a spokesperson to both CongressDaily and the Federal Times.

A San Diego State University professor and Congressional expert told the Mobile paper "he knew of no previous use of a blanket hold" in recent history.
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/02/report-shelby-blocks-all-obama-nominations-in-the-senate-over-al-earmarks.php?ref=fpa
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
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When you think the US senate can't get any more corrupt it surprises you with another example of appalling corruption.
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
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This is exactly where Obama needs to use his bully pulpit. This is deplorable behavior and I'd say the same thing were the political parties reversed.
 

Ugg

macrumors 68000
Apr 7, 2003
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Penryn
I know Alabama is an extremely poor and in many ways, backward place, but holding the government hostage is no way to get ahead.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
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Good. The US public need reminding of just how idiotic Republicans in government can be.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
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A geographical oddity
I was torn. On one hand, this kind of pork barrel spending is the reason that we don't have the money to spend anymore. On the other, the primary duty of a Congressional representative is to secure greater prosperity for the folks at home.

Then I reread the information about the programs. Tweaking a government contract to secure a specific party's bid because they offer to build the product in your backyard is just a step away from succumbing to outright bribery. As for the IED testing lab, it wasn't just the Obama administration that didn't build it. I believe someone else was president at the time.

Screw this guy and the horse he came in on.
 

pooky

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2003
356
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It is astounding how broken the Senate has become. They've lost the ability to effectively govern. The Republicans hold the country hostage, despite having just a hair over the 1/3 of the votes. The Democrats, just as complicit in this ********, just shrug their shoulders and say, "what can we do? Republicans won the majority!"

I think I'm ready. It's time to take the senate apart and rebuild something modern, a piece at a time. I'm an independent (note that means I find myself too liberal for the Democratic party), but I was happy that the Dems had secured two branches of government and we might get some decent policy enacted. Now, **** both parties.

This is depressing. I may not bother voting this year.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
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Chicago, Illinois
This is depressing. I may not bother voting this year.
That's what they want, for you not to vote.

And the Republicans are just acting like spoiled babies now, exactly like they did with Clinton. Actually, now it's worse. Every time Obama bows, it's news to these people. They have absolutely nothing, so that's what they go after. Pathetic.
 

killerrobot

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2007
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Well he is up for reelection this fall. So I'm not too surprised about a publicity stunt like this - I'm assuming he's doing this as a power play to show how much he cares about AL its people.

However, he's screwing over the nation by doing it.

There either needs to be a massive overhaul in congress or a major ass-whooping. It's embarrassing the amount of stuff they can't get done.
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
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Toronto, Ontario
Regardless if it was done in the past, this is the same ridiculous ******** thats been going on way too much these days, people are tired of this ****. Obama needs to set up a press conference to shine some light on this issue or something, the only thing these politicians seem to respond to is being put in a negative light so go ahead and give it to them, I want to see people's careers destroyed.
 

Sdashiki

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2005
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Behind the lens
Quote:
And, according to news reports, Mr. Obama in late 2005 also put a hold on all Environmental Protection Agency nominees. Mr. Obama said he was trying to force the EPA to move more quickly to issue rules on lead-paint exposure.
So its cool to block something because it will help your home state and basically usher you back in during election season.

But its not cool to do something similar in regards to public health and safety?

How far will the right go to say "LOOK LOOK he did it too...albeit differently, but its still the same! LOOK LOOK!"
 

CorvusCamenarum

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,231
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Birmingham, AL
Speaking as a lifelong resident of Alabama, which I might add is not nearly as backward as some people here who have never been here would like to stereotype, yes, Sen. Shelby is being a douche. Then again, I expect nothing less from someone so pompous that he got a building on the UA campus named for him.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
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Illinois
yes, Sen. Shelby is being a douche.
He's a birther too...

Another local resident asked Shelby if there was any truth to a rumor that appeared during the presidential campaign concerning Obama's U.S. citizenship, or lack thereof.

"Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven't seen any birth certificate," Shelby said. "You have to be born in America to be president."
 

Gelfin

macrumors 68020
Sep 18, 2001
2,166
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Denver, CO
Speaking as a lifelong resident of Alabama, which I might add is not nearly as backward as some people here who have never been here would like to stereotype, yes, Sen. Shelby is being a douche. Then again, I expect nothing less from someone so pompous that he got a building on the UA campus named for him.
But the politics is exactly as corrupt and embarrassing as it seems. This move is so unsurprising it hurts.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
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Oh Christ. How do we get so many stupid people in government?
Because the majority of Americans would vote for an amoeba if it wore the appropriate party colours. There's no incentive on the part of the party mandarins for finding thoughtful candidates, just telegenic soundbiters who can rouse the rabble.
 

beatzfreak

macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2006
346
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NYC
So its cool to block something because it will help your home state and basically usher you back in during election season.

But its not cool to do something similar in regards to public health and safety?

How far will the right go to say "LOOK LOOK he did it too...albeit differently, but its still the same! LOOK LOOK!"
The details seem the get lost on them, much their proposals.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
Because the majority of Americans would vote for an amoeba if it wore the appropriate party colours. There's no incentive on the part of the party mandarins for finding thoughtful candidates, just telegenic soundbiters who can rouse the rabble.

I don't know that I agree with that. Gore is not Mr. Soundbite. Lieberman is not very telegenic. Kerry was too intellectual for his own good. Palin was only good for soundbite jokes. McCain - telegenic? Maybe at a retirement community.
 

MyDesktopBroke

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
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And the company isn't even American. Airbus is a European company that does some manufacturing in Alabama. Shelby would rather have a small cut go to Americans as long as their in his state (making a great soundbite for a campaign ad), than all of it go to American contractor that would create jobs across the country.
 

pooky

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2003
356
1
That's what they want, for you not to vote.

And the Republicans are just acting like spoiled babies now, exactly like they did with Clinton. Actually, now it's worse. Every time Obama bows, it's news to these people. They have absolutely nothing, so that's what they go after. Pathetic.
Of course that's what they want, but who am I supposed to vote FOR? The Dems have shown they have no ability to get things done. The minority party is obstructionist? So ****ing what? Man up and get your ****ing job done.

As for the other side... They are a bunch of spoiled babies. Although I think at some level, they're acting this way because they know it'll work, because the Dems let them control the dialogue. The Dems let them say whatever they want to the media. The Dems let them set the agenda. The Republicans are pathetic, yes, but so are the Democrats.

Of course, in my case, it's a moot point. The entire state has one representative. The state is nearly as republican it can get. No vote for or against any of these guys will change the way this state votes. So I can happily pout, bitch about one party being evil and the other being a bunch of wimps, and hope the rest of the country wakes up and does something, hopefully dragging my backwards state along for the ride.