Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Secret... Hold

In 2004 Tom Coburn was an unlikely candidate for Senate.  He had a penchant for 'misspeaking'.  For example, when he said "that schools in southeastern Oklahoma would only let one girl at a time go to the bathroom because of rampant lesbianism"

Since he was elected, the senator has been a more fiscally conservative Republican than a socially conservative one.  Recently he, along with Senator Claire McCaskill, submitted a resolution to the Senate  "S.Res.622  - A resolution to stop secret spending."  In which he tries to stop the use of parliamentary tricks to allow a bill to be passed without debate.  He states at the end that "Voters are demanding Congress bring greater accountability to the legislative process."

Although it never left committee it seems to be a fairly reasonable request since there have been some controversial bills  passed this way -- such as unregulated cow slaughter and bills that would allow unauthorized construction.  Both of these are unsavory at best.

However, what applies to cows and building stuff without a permit doesn't seem to apply to people starving and in dangerous places when their houses have crumbled in an earthquake.  In March of 2010 the United States pledged 1.15b dollars to Haitian relief.  While some of this money has been sent to Haiti, a vast majority has not.

Senate Bill H.R.6021  - Haiti Empowerment, Assistance, and Rebuilding Act of 2010 provides for a relatively detailed explanation of where the money is to go and the expected outcome of the money sent to Haiti.  Some of these outcomes include helping the existing police force, helping children go to school and strengthening the political system to allow for equal governance. 

Recently this bill was being held up by the same parliamentary tricks that Senator Coburn was talking about.  It was a secret hold.  Someone was holding up the bill without telling anyone who they were. 

It was him.  It was Senator Coburn.

"He is holding the bill because it includes an unnecessary senior Haiti coordinator when we already have one" in U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten, Coburn spokeswoman Becky Bernhardt said.  Apparently, it was going to cost less that 2 million dollars over 5 years.  Wow.  I'm so glad... ahem.. he pointed that out.  Because when someone is starving and cold and in a criminally dangerous place, I'd hate to see a  <0.001% waste of the taxpayers money.


  1. "Sen. Jim DeMint’s [R, SC] decision to block all bills not cleared by his office by last night isn’t the only thing keeping the Senate from following up on the 372 House-passed bills that are scheduled to die in a few weeks without action. From The Hill"

  2. "UPDATE: Coburn and DeMint are also teaming up to block a bill that would sell land in D.C. to a a group looking to build a Women’s History Museum (H.R.1700)."

  3. Penchant, not pension


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