Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Snowe Job

More evidence that 'Pork is the terrorist's friend'. Senator Olympia Snowe is having a public hissy fit with national security ramifications:

Sen. Olympia Snowe on Wednesday declined to confirm reports that she has blocked the nomination of Gordon England to the No. 2 Pentagon job because she is frustrated over the Pentagon’s base closure recommendations.

The Wall Street Journal and Defense Daily reported that Snowe, R-Maine, has put a "hold" on England’s nomination to serve as deputy secretary of defense...

...The Wall Street Journal wrote on its opinion page Wednesday that Snowe placed the hold because of the Pentagon’s recommendation that Maine military bases be closed as part of the nationwide reorganization of facilities.

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission is evaluating the Pentagon’s recommendations and will issue a report to the president no later than Sept. 8.

In Maine, the Pentagon proposed closing the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery and the Defense Finance Accounting Service center in Limestone, and scaling back the Brunswick Naval Air Station. The Brunswick base was later added by the BRAC Commission to the closure list. The paper said Snowe has turned the list into a political issue.

Via Snowe blocks promotion

Senator Snowe Job is putting pork barrel politics ahead of national defense, at a time of war no less. Another shameless act by a founding member of the RINOs.

How is it that Snowe can put a hold on a President's nominee? This Senate Confirmation FAQ by Slate's Emily Yoffe provides some insight:

Besides voting down a nomination, how else can the Senate block it?

Through filibusters or the more common "hold." Filibusters are rarely used, but in 1995 Clinton's nomination of Dr. Henry Foster for surgeon general died due to a Republican filibuster. More common are the mysterious Senate holds. This process, not spelled out in the Senate rules, allows any senator, for no given reason, to anonymously put on hold a nomination by simply asking his or her party leader for the delay. It was originally a sort of courtesy accorded to senators who wanted a vote delayed briefly due to scheduling problems or who needed time to gather more information. In recent years it has turned into a method for permanent obstruction. Holds can be put on for purposes that have nothing to do with a nominee as a way of forcing the administration to accommodate a senator's wishes on another matter. In recent years there have been 30 or more holds at a given time on nominees for judicial, ambassadorial, and other posts. A recent reform is requiring identification of the senator requesting the hold, but that has not always been forthcoming.

Hat Tip: BizzyBlog via email


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