[Congressional Record: May 25, 2010 (Senate)]
[Page S4172-S4176]


                           Amendment No. 4183

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, at this time I ask unanimous consent to set 
aside the pending amendment and call up amendment No. 4183, the Wyden-
Grassley amendment to end secret holds in the Senate.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Oregon [Mr. Wyden], for himself and Mr. 
     Grassley, proposes an amendment numbered 4183.

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment 
be considered as read.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To establish as a standing order of the Senate that a Senator 
  publicly disclose a notice of intent to objecting to any measure or 

       At the end of the amendment, insert the following:


       (a) In General.--
       (1) Covered request.--This standing order shall apply to a 
     notice of intent to object to the following covered requests:
       (A) A unanimous consent request to proceed to a bill, 
     resolution, joint resolution, concurrent resolution, 
     conference report, or amendment between the Houses.
       (B) A unanimous consent request to pass a bill or joint 
     resolution or adopt a resolution, concurrent resolution, 
     conference report, or the disposition of an amendment between 
     the Houses.
       (C) A unanimous consent request for disposition of a 
       (2) Recognition of notice of intent.--The majority and 
     minority leaders of the Senate or their designees shall 
     recognize a notice of intent to object to a covered request 
     of a Senator who is a member of their caucus if the Senator--
       (A) submits the notice of intent to object in writing to 
     the appropriate leader and grants in the notice of intent to 
     object permission for the leader or designee to object in the 
     Senator's name; and
       (B) not later than 2 session days after submitting the 
     notice of intent to object to the appropriate leader, submits 
     a copy of the notice of intent to object to the Congressional 
     Record and to the Legislative Clerk for inclusion in the 
     applicable calendar section described in subsection (b).

[[Page S4173]]

       (3) Form of notice.--To be recognized by the appropriate 
     leader a Senator shall submit the following notice of intent 
     to object:
       ``I, Senator _______, intend to object to ________, dated 
     _______. I will submit a copy of this notice to the 
     Legislative Clerk and the Congressional Record within 2 
     session days and I give my permission to the objecting 
     Senator to object in my name.'' The first blank shall be 
     filled with the name of the Senator, the second blank shall 
     be filled with the name of the covered request, the name of 
     the measure or matter and, if applicable, the calendar 
     number, and the third blank shall be filled with the date 
     that the notice of intent to object is submitted.
       (b) Calendar.--Upon receiving the submission under 
     subsection (a)(2)(B), the Legislative Clerk shall add the 
     information from the notice of intent to object to the 
     applicable Calendar section entitled ``Notices of Intent to 
     Object to Proceeding'' created by Public Law 110-81. Each 
     section shall include the name of each Senator filing a 
     notice under subsection (a)(2)(B), the measure or matter 
     covered by the calendar to which the notice of intent to 
     object relates, and the date the notice of intent to object 
     was filed.
       (c) Removal.--A Senator may have a notice of intent to 
     object relating to that Senator removed from a calendar to 
     which it was added under subsection (b) by submitting for 
     inclusion in the Congressional Record the following notice:
       ``I, Senator _____, do not object to _______, dated 
     _____.'' The first blank shall be filled with the name of the 
     Senator, the second blank shall be filled with the name of 
     the covered request, the name of the measure or matter and, 
     if applicable, the calendar number, and the third blank shall 
     be filled with the date of the submission to the 
     Congressional Record under this subsection.
       (d) Objecting on Behalf of a Member.--If a Senator who has 
     notified his or her leader of an intent to object to a 
     covered request fails to submit a notice of intent to object 
     under subsection (a)(2)(B) within 2 session days following an 
     objection to a covered request by the leader or his or her 
     designee on that Senator's behalf, the Legislative Clerk 
     shall list the Senator who made the objection to the covered 
     request in the applicable ``Notice of Intent to Object to 
     Proceeding'' calendar section.

  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, this is the fourth time in under 2 weeks 
that Senator Grassley and I, with a large bipartisan coalition of 
Senators in the Senate--a coalition that spans the philosophical 
spectrum of membership in the Senate--has sought to pass this 
legislation to finally end the stranglehold of secret holds.
  The American people want accountability from their elected officials, 
but there is simply no accountability when the Senate operates in 
secret. The fact is, this has gone on for years and years, and it has 
been done on a bipartisan basis. Right now there are scores of 
qualified nominees for important positions in the administration and 
the Federal courts who can't get a vote on the Senate floor--and it has 
also taken place on a bipartisan basis for years and years--as Senator 
Grassley and I have tried to make the point over this decade that we 
have been attacking secrecy in the Senate and that this has gone on in 
a bipartisan fashion.
  The fact is a secret hold is one of the most powerful tools a Member 
of the Senate has today. I would be the first to grant that the 
American people have no idea what secret holds are. The fact is a 
secret hold can effectively kill a nomination or piece of legislation, 
and it can be done without anyone--colleagues in the Senate or the 
public--knowing who did it or why.
  One of the points I also wish to make--and it hasn't been explored in 
the discussion of secret holds--is a secret hold is a very powerful 
weapon that is also available to lobbyists. My guess is practically 
every Senator has gotten a request from a lobbyist asking if the 
Senator would put a secret hold on a bill or a nomination in order to 
kill it without getting any public debate and without the lobbyist's 
fingerprints appearing anywhere. In fact, if you can get a Senator to 
put an anonymous hold on a bill, it is almost like hitting the lobbyist 
jackpot. Not only is the Senator protected by a cloak of anonymity but 
so is the lobbyist. A secret hold can let lobbyists also play both 
sides of the street and can give lobbyists a victory for their clients 
without alienating potential future clients. Given the number of 
instances where I have heard of a lobbyist asking for secret holds, I 
am of the view that secret holds are a stealth extension of the 
lobbying world in Washington, DC.
  In the Senate there has been an effort to improve the rules and have 
stricter ethics requirements with respect to lobbyists. It is something 
of an irony if the Senate--which it has in the past--adopts a variety 
of changes to curtail lobbying without doing away with what, in my 
view, is one of the most powerful tools that is available to lobbyists, 
and that is the secret hold. So what Senator Grassley and I have been 
working on over the past decade--and with this bipartisan coalition we 
have been able to assemble in the Senate--is the desire, once and for 
all, to permanently eliminate the use of secret holds.
  I also believe that given the Wall Street reform bill that was just 
passed in the Senate to bring greater openness and accountability to 
financial institutions, it seems to me for the Senate to be telling 
Wall Street it has to operate in a more transparent, open way, this is 
a pretty darn good time for the Senate to reform the way the Senate 
does its business. If we are going to set about the task of telling 
folks on Wall Street to be more open and more accountable, certainly 
the rules in the Senate ought to be changed to abolish the secret hold.
  Under current Senate rules, it is still possible for Senators to use 
a secret hold to block legislation or a nomination from coming to the 
floor without having to give any reason. There is no openness or 
accountability to anybody when a Senator places a secret hold. My view 
is the Senate shouldn't have a double standard where we are passing 
laws and rules to require greater openness and accountability of 
others, and particularly American institutions such as Wall Street, 
while tolerating a practice that keeps both the public and colleagues 
in the Senate in the dark without accountability to anyone.
  Under the proposal Senator Grassley and I have sought to pass--and I 
see my good friend from Iowa here, and I noted that this is our fourth 
such effort in about 2 weeks to finally bring some sunlight to the way 
the Senate does business--under our proposal, somebody--a Senator--is 
going to have to own a hold publicly within 2 days. That is a key 
change because we have looked at the Executive Calendar, we have looked 
at all of the places where we might see someone actually publicly own 
up to having a hold, and Senator Grassley and I haven't seen that kind 
of transparency and accountability.
  So under our proposal which we are seeking to pass this morning, 
every hold--every hold--is going to have to have a public owner within 
2 days.
  Let me give an example of how this would work. Let's say a Senator 
objects to bringing up a nomination on behalf of a colleague. If the 
Senator behind the hold who, in effect, is kind of the culprit in all 
of this secrecy doesn't go public by putting a notice in the 
Congressional Record within 2 days, then the Senator who objected on 
the floor on behalf of this culprit is going to be listed in the 
Executive Calendar as having placed the hold. The Senator who is in 
effect covering up for the colleague will get the blame if the real 
culprit--the real Senator who is trying to protect secrecy--would not 
come clean.
  So, in effect, what Senator Grassley and I are seeking to do is put 
public pressure and peer pressure to get Senators to reveal their hold. 
If Senators keep objecting to legislation or nominations on behalf of 
other colleagues, pretty soon that Senator can get identified as 
responsible for dozens of holds. We think--Senator Grassley and I and 
Senators Inhofe, Collins, Udall, Bennet and Merkley, a big group that 
is involved in this on a bipartisan basis--with this approach we are 
going to create public pressure because nobody here in the Senate is 
going to want to go down in history as being ``Senator hold.''
  In my view, it will also create peer pressure on Senators to come 
clean about their holds. Let's say Senator Grassley is on the floor or 
I am on the floor when a unanimous consent is made and one of us has to 
object on behalf of a colleague. We will go tell that colleague that he 
or she better come clean because we are not interested in having our 
names put on the Executive Calendar as the one who is supporting this 
secret hold.
  I also believe the Grassley-Wyden approach cures other problems with 
the current holds policy by shortening the time period before a hold 
must be made public from the current 6 session days to 2 days. Our view 
is that 2 days is plenty of time for a Senator to determine whether to 
continue objecting

[[Page S4174]]

and make the objection public or to withdraw the objection.
  Our bipartisan proposal also includes reforms that make it harder for 
Senators to place revolving holds on a nomination or bill. Senator 
Grassley and I have seen this problem, over this decade we have been 
involved in this. Senator Grassley mentioned the fact that we have 
always said this is being done in a bipartisan way that there is a very 
serious problem of revolving holds, where in effect a hold is passed on 
to another Member of the Senate. First, we eliminate the ability of a 
Senator to lift a hold before the current 6-day period expires and 
never has to disclose it. Under our proposal, if a Senator places a 
hold--even for 1 day, even for just a minute--that hold would have to 
be disclosed. Second, by shortening the time period, it will be even 
more difficult to keep finding new Senators to place new holds every 48 
  I want to close by expressing my appreciation to Senator Grassley, 
Senators Inhofe, Collins, and others on the other side who have worked 
for this badly needed reform, to bring sunshine to the Senate. Senator 
Grassley and I have put more than a decade into this effort.
  I also thank my colleagues on this side of the aisle, particularly 
Senators Bennet, Udall, and McCaskill, who have brought a tremendous 
amount of new energy and passion to this cause.
  Finally, after all this time, let us eliminate secret holds. Let's 
require public disclosure of all holds and ensure that there will be 
consequences if the Senator fails to disclose secret holds. I ask for 
our colleagues' support. It is a bipartisan effort that Senator 
Grassley and I have pursued for many years to bring greater 
transparency and accountability to the Senate by eliminating secret 
holds once and for all.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa is recognized.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Oregon for 
keeping up the fight. We have been at it for a long period of time. 
There has been a dry spell recently when this has not been a major 
issue. So we didn't feel, when there wasn't an interest in getting rid 
of secrecy within the Senate, like bringing this up. But now there is 
all this concern about what is going on with so many holds in the 
Senate--either bills or nominations--and that it is influencing the 
productivity of the Senate.
  There has been a lot of discussion on the floor of the Senate about 
this issue, so the opportunity is ripe once again. This is the fourth 
or fifth time in the last couple weeks we have been at it. I thank my 
colleague from Oregon for keeping up the fight. I am glad to work with 
him as a Republican, and a lot of other Republicans who support this 
effort of making the public's business more public, the Senate's 
business more public.
  Senator Wyden went into the details of the legislation, so I am not 
going to repeat that. But I want people to know that, from my side of 
the aisle, he has given an accurate representation, through his 
explanation, of the intent of our amendment. Without repeating that, I 
have made it a practice for a long period of time--I don't know, it has 
been 10 or 12 years--that when I put a hold on a bill or put a hold on 
a nomination, I have put a statement in the public record so that they 
know the Senator from Iowa has done this and my reason for doing it.
  I want to tell my colleagues who think we ought to maintain the 
adjective before the word ``hold,'' it hasn't done any harm to me. 
There has been no retribution because of it. It has given people on a 
different side of the fence on the issue that I am--with my having a 
hold on--the opportunity to know it is me, and they can come to me for 
whatever reasons they want, and see whatever arrangements we can make, 
or whatever compromises were necessary to move things along; and they 
knew it was this Senator from Iowa and my rationale behind it. It gives 
us an opportunity to work out differences. That is what the Senate, 
being a deliberative body, is all about.
  On the other hand, when this Senator from Iowa finds that somebody 
puts a hold on a nominee or a bill I have an interest in, and it is 
secret, then this Senator can't go to the other Senator and say, what 
is the problem? What can we do to work out our differences? Then that 
impedes the deliberative work of the Senate.
  We feel there is nothing wrong with the process of a hold, except for 
the adjective ``secret,'' which can legitimately be put in front of the 
word ``hold.'' We want to preserve the deliberative aspect of the 
Senate. We don't want anybody to pull a quick one on anybody. The hold 
prevents that from happening. But we ought to know who you are and why 
you are doing it.
  This legislation the Senator from Oregon and I have put forth will do 
exactly that. It is all about transparency and, with transparency, I 
think you get accountability. That is what representative government is 
all about--accountability. The public ought to have a right to know 
where Senators take a stand. This legislation will permit that.
  In the final analysis, if you are a Senator who has guts enough to 
put a hold on a bill, you ought to have guts enough to let us know who 
you are. I hope that from now on the word ``secret'' is never anything 
that is used in the Senate except on things dealing with privacy or 
national security. Beyond that, the other 99.5 percent of the Senate's 
business ought to be totally open to the public.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Carolina is recognized.
  Mr. DeMINT. Mr. President, I commend my colleagues Senators Grassley 
and Wyden for wanting to solve a problem. I appreciate them being 
willing to put some solutions forth.
  I think it is important that we talk about the bigger picture when we 
talk about secret holds. I want to make it clear that I am not 
interested in holding anything in secret. As a matter of fact, whenever 
we do it as part of Steering, we let the cloakroom know we are holding 
a bill.
  I think it is important that America knows what we are talking about 
here. At this point in the Senate, 94 percent of all of the bills are 
passed by unanimous consent. So this is hardly a lack of productivity. 
What this means is that 94 percent of the bills that pass the Senate 
have no debate, no vote, no amendments, no reading of the bill, no 
online disclosure and, very often, no score from the Congressional 
Budget Office.
  When I first took over the Steering Committee, one of the things I 
learned quickly is that whenever we are having a break--if we are going 
for a week, such as we are after this week--on my way to the airport I 
would get a call from staff telling me there were dozens of requests to 
pass bills by unanimous consent. They knew we were going out of town. A 
lot of them had pretty big pricetags on them. You don't get $13 
trillion in debt when you are doing things right. Part of the problem 
is that 94 percent of the bills that pass the Senate pass in secret. 
The problem is not secret holds; it is the secret passing of bills, 
when often we don't even know who is requesting passage. If we didn't 
have staff available at night when they run their so-called hotlines--
which means the phone in your office rings and they ask if you will 
agree to pass a bill, and you have not read it and you don't know what 
it costs, but if you don't agree to pass it by unanimous consent, you 
are holding the bill.

  If you ask to read it for a day or so, it is likely that some 
association is getting e-mails from either the Republican or Democrat 
side saying that Senator DeMint is holding this desperately needed 
piece of legislation, which nobody else has read.
  I would be glad to work with my colleagues on dealing with this issue 
if they believe secret holds are a problem. I think that passing 94 
percent of the bills without anybody reading them or knowing they are 
being passed is not a good way to do business. I think it is fair to 
have some system where, first, you cannot secretly ask for a bill to be 
passed by unanimous consent. That is what goes on today.
  We should look at the Coburn-McCaskill measure where, if you want 
something passed by unanimous consent in the dark of night, you have to 
put it on the Internet for at least 3 days, with a cost from the 
Congressional Budget Office, so that we know what we are getting into.
  Again, I remind you that we don't have a problem in Washington of not

[[Page S4175]]

passing enough bills or spending enough money. The problem we have is 
we are passing bills that we don't even read that have pricetags that 
are running our country into a crushing debt. Again, I want to work 
with my colleagues. But if you are opposed to secret holds, which are 
really not a problem--and I am not aware of one where we don't know who 
is holding it. I have a problem with people asking that bills be passed 
in secret, and that 94 percent of the bills in this place get passed 
that way.
  There are a lot of pressing issues we face as a country, but one of 
them is not secret holds. If we want to spend floor time debating it, I 
want to be involved with that debate. We have no problem here with 
things that are being slowed down. The problem we have is that every 
week--like this week--we are adding to our spending and borrowing more 
money as a country, increasing our national debt, and we are expanding 
the Federal Government. This is not something we need to speed up. We 
need Members of the Senate to read bills. We don't need to be talking 
about holding a bill when someone innocently asks to read a bill and to 
let you know tomorrow.
  Let's work on this. If you want bills to go through quickly, let's 
get rid of the secret passing of bills that have never been on the 
Internet or seen the light of day. This is something where I know my 
colleagues are well intended, but the real problem is the secret bills 
and Members secretly asking to pass them. I will be glad to let you 
know I am holding them.
  Mr. WYDEN. Will the Senator yield for a question, without losing his 
right to the floor?
  Mr. DeMINT. I will in a moment.
  I will ask this: Could we include in your legislation the idea that 
whenever somebody wants to pass a bill by unanimous consent, they have 
to come to the floor and say: I, Senator Jim DeMint, want to pass this 
bill, a bill I have not read, which has not been online for 3 days, 
which has no score from the CBO, and I desire to pass this bill with no 
debate and no rollcall vote? If we would do that as individuals, I will 
be glad to give up my right to any secret hold.
  I will yield to the Senator.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, I think the Senator and I are making some 
progress because I was about to pose almost the same question to my 
  I believe the Senator from South Carolina is talking about the 
Coburn-McCaskill proposal To make sure Senators have actually read 
legislation. I have already indicated to Senators Coburn and McCaskill 
that I am interested in being a cosponsor of this legislation. I think 
it is a constructive idea.
  In effect, we are asking each other the same questions. I think the 
measure the Senator from South Carolina is talking about, the Coburn-
McCaskill measure, is an important one. I have indicated I will be a 
  By way of saving some time, would my colleague be willing now to let 
Senator Grassley and me advance our proposal to eliminate secret holds 
today, given the fact that we have gotten more than a decade's worth of 
work, now that I have publicly acknowledged that I think the point the 
Senator from South Carolina has made, which is very much in line with 
the Coburn-McCaskill measure, is a valid one? My hope would be that, 
after putting more than a decade into this effort, the Senator from 
South Carolina would let us finally get a vote on this bipartisan 
effort to eliminate secret holds, with this public acknowledgment, at 
least on my part, that I think the Senator's point is valid with 
respect to Senators reading bills and I intend to be a cosponsor of the 
Coburn-McCaskill legislation.
  Mr. DeMINT. Mr. President, I thank the Senator for being willing to 
work with colleagues. It is unfortunate that he has spent a decade on 
this bill and missed the main point. The main problem is secret bills, 
not secret holds. But if the Senator is willing to modify his amendment 
with the Coburn-McCaskill language and if it includes revealing who is 
trying to pass the bill, along with putting it online with a 
Congressional Budget Office score, I will be glad to support the 
Senator's efforts for this amendment. But I will not support the 
adoption of his amendment a la carte without the language being 
modified to include the Coburn-McCaskill language and the revealing of 
whoever is asking that bill be passed.
  Again, I will enjoy working with my colleagues if this is important 
to them to get this amendment adopted. Again, I think there are 
certainly more pressing issues, but I am not interested in holding 
anything secretly. If the Senator will work with us on modifying his 
language, I think we can get this adopted and maybe even by unanimous 
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, will the Senator yield again without giving 
up his right to the floor?
  Mr. DeMINT. Yes, I will.
  Mr. WYDEN. My understanding from the sponsors--Senators Coburn and 
McCaskill is they are not yet ready. In other words, we have been 
talking with them. I have already indicated to Senator Coburn that I 
would be a cosponsor of his proposal. We now have what amounts to not 
just a private acknowledgment that the point of the Senator from South 
Carolina is valid but a public one on the floor of the Senate.
  I say to my colleague, my understanding from the sponsors is that 
they are not yet ready to bring this before the Senate, and that is why 
I am hopeful that--given the acknowledgment that the Senator from South 
Carolina has a valid point with respect to making sure bills are 
actually read, my hope would be that the Senator from South Carolina 
would let Senator Grassley and me go forward, finally have that vote, 
given the fact we have spent more than a decade laying the groundwork, 
and that we could at least make some progress today in the Senate.
  Mr. DeMINT. Mr. President, I thank the Senator. I think if we waited 
a decade for this amendment, we can spend another day or two to get it 
right. If the Senator is certainly supportive of their language, I know 
their legislative staff well enough that we can get this incorporated 
with the language of the Senator from Oregon probably in a few hours 
and get this amendment done. I will be happy to help with that effort.
  I thank the Senator for his interest in cooperating. I thank the 
Presiding Officer. I yield the floor.
  Mr. INOUYE. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Will the Senator withdraw his request?
  Mr. INOUYE. I do.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Iowa is recognized.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I find myself agreeing with the Senator 
from South Carolina. I find myself agreeing--I am glad my colleague 
Senator Wyden also agrees. I raise this point, and I raise it for a 
point of discussion and consideration, not to challenge the purpose of 
the Senator from South Carolina.
  It seems to me that if we all agree the Wyden-Grassley amendment is a 
good approach and at least Senator Wyden and I and Senator McCaskill 
and Senator Coburn and Senator DeMint believe the McCaskill-Coburn 
measure is a good measure, why would you want to hold up the Grassley-
Wyden amendment? Is there a feeling that maybe the McCaskill-Coburn 
measure cannot rise and fall on its own? Then I think you might leave 
the impression that there is some subterfuge to see that the Wyden-
Grassley bill does not get adopted.
  Since there is a consensus on all these points, I think we ought to 
be able to move forward in a separate way and not use one good idea to 
leverage another good idea because if they are both good ideas, they 
can stand on their own. In the process, we do not have to then raise 
any questions about the legitimacy of the second idea, which would be 
the McCaskill-Coburn idea on reading legislation and making sure we 
have a score and making sure it is brought up in an environment where 
there is not secrecy. Again, what I said about secrecy in this body, it 
should only affect national security and people's personal privacy. 
Everything else ought to be the public's business. It is the public's 
business, and it ought to be public.
  I raise the point that each item ought to stand by itself and that 
the five of us--and there are more than five of us, but at least on the 
Wyden-Grassley amendment, there seem to be at

[[Page S4176]]

least three people in this body speaking this morning who think it 
ought to move forward, and there are at least three in this body, plus 
two others who are not here, McCaskill and Coburn, who feel the other 
idea ought to move forward. We ought to move forward separately with 
the help of everybody involved.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oregon is recognized.
  Mr. WYDEN. Mr. President, let me speak very briefly on secret holds 
and then make a unanimous-consent request.
  I express again my appreciation to the distinguished Senator from 
Iowa, Mr. Grassley. He very often seems too logical for some of these 
debates. I very much share his view.
  The point is, we do have a great deal of consensus. We have had three 
Senators, in effect, talking over the last 20 minutes with no 
substantive disagreement. The reality is, eliminating secret holds and 
shining some sunlight in the Senate on how we do business, it is ready 
to go. It has been ready to go now four times in the last 10 days.
  I very much appreciate Senator Grassley's comments today. We ought to 
have a vote on it. I have tried to show my good will, as the 
distinguished Senator from Iowa has this morning, in saying that we 
happen to think Senators Coburn and McCaskill and Senator DeMint's 
comments reflect this--have a very good idea as well. I have told them 
privately and again I state publicly this morning that it is my intent 
to be a cosponsor of the legislation. It is not yet ready to go, which 
is, in effect, what Senator Grassley has touched on.
  Efforts to reform the Senate and do our business in public when the 
American people are as angry as they are at the way Washington, DC, 
does business--one ought to have, as Senator Grassley says, the guts to 
go public when one is trying to object to a bill or nomination.
  My thanks to Senator Grassley for our decade-long push--10 years-plus 
in trying to do it--and also for the very constructive way he has tried 
to reach out to colleagues on both sides of the aisle. That is what I 
have tried to do again this morning with my comments to Senator DeMint.
  I note that the chairman of the Appropriations Committee is also in 
support of the effort to get rid of secret holds. I thank him for his 
indulgence and for giving us this opportunity to speak on the floor of 
the Senate this morning.
  Senator Grassley and I are going to come back again and again until 
this secret hold, which is an indefensible violation of the public's 
right to know, is finally buried. I thank him.