[Congressional Record: May 6, 2010 (Senate)]
[Page S3353-S3354]                       

                              SECRET HOLDS

  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I am pleased to be joining an effort 
spearheaded by the Senator from Missouri, Mrs. McCaskill, to put an end 
to the practice of Senators secretly holding up legislation or 
nominations. Senators who want to block a bill or nomination should be 
willing to state their objection on the record. Many of us thought we 
had addressed that problem when Congress approved the Honest Leadership 
and Open Government Act of 2007. Unfortunately, the problem of secret 
holds persists, and the new rule needs to be tightened.
  As with any Senator, there are times when I object to passage of a 
bill or confirmation of a nominee. It has not been my practice to try 
to keep my objection secret, however. For example, when the Senator 
from Arizona, Mr. McCain, and I objected to confirmation of the 
nomination of John Sullivan to a term on the Federal Election 
Commission last year, we released a statement publicly stating our 
action and our reasons. We made clear that, until the White House 
nominates replacements for the two other commissioners whose terms have 
expired, we would not consent to Mr. Sullivan's confirmation. The FEC 
is currently mired in anti-enforcement gridlock, and the President must 
nominate new commissioners with a demonstrated commitment to the 
existence and enforcement of the campaign finance laws.
  Similarly, when I had concerns about legislation introduced by the 
Senator from California, Mrs. Feinstein, S. 132, I discussed my 
concerns directly with

[[Page S3354]]

her. I have proposed changes that would make the bill more effective in 
addressing the serious problem of gang-related violence, and I look 
forward to passage of the amended bill.
  Mr. President, it is not enough to fight for change--you need to lead 
by example, too. So I will make it my practice to have printed a 
statement in the Record when I object to bringing up legislation or a 
nomination. And I urge my colleagues to do the same, and to support 
efforts to eliminate loopholes in the current rule.