For Immediate Release
GOP Obstruction on Nominations Reaches New Low
WASHINGTON - According to media reports, Richard Shelby has placed a blanket
“hold” on all executive branch nominations in an effort to secure
federal spending in his state.
“Senator Shelby’s move is deeply cynical and an abuse of
Senate procedure,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the
American Way. “The American people deserve a functioning
government, but Senator Shelby would rather hobble important agencies that keep
us safe and provide important services than risk losing some pork barrel
projects for his own state. Conservative commentators have slammed
Democrats negotiating deals that pale in comparison to this. I hope
they’ll be aggressive in pointing out Senator Shelby’s behavior,
but I’m not holding my breath.”
Senator Shelby is angry about the Pentagon’s bidding process for
air-to-air refueling tankers and funding for a research center to be built in
his state. His hold effectively blocks votes on more than 70 executive
branch nominees, including officials in the Army, Air Force, Department of
Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice and Department
“To block votes on U.S. Attorneys, key positions in the armed
forces, and nominees tasked with overseeing the disposal of radioactive waste
in order to wring a few more dollars from the federal government in dangerously
irresponsible,” said Keegan. “Senator Shelby is doing an
immense disservice to all Americans, including his own constituents. When
voters voice their anger about the gridlock and partisanship in Washington, this is
exactly what they’re talking about.”
Keegan pointed out that Senator Shelby’s extreme efforts to grab
more federal dollars for his state could lead some to call him a Fiscal
Conservative In Name Only.
“He’d better watch out,” said Keegan.
“Carly Fiorina’s sheep may want to have a few words with
People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.