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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Hold Shows Opponents' War of Attrition Against Coburn-Obama Spending Database; Frist Warns Democrats of "Consequences;" Stevens Renews His Hold

Rebecca Carr of Cox News Washington Bureau continues to score scoops on the secret Senate holds story. Now it appears a second Democrat has placed a hold on the Coburn-Obama bill to establish an internet database of most federal spending, S. 2590.

Carr notes that the new Democrat holder may have mis-lead bloggers who asked all 100 senators in recent weeks if they had placed the original hold. Except for Sen. Robert Byrd, D-WV, all of the Democrats denied placing a hold. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-AK, conceded that he placed the original anonymous hold on the bill.

Carr also notes the new hold author may be in trouble with Democratic party leaders: "If it turns out that a new hold has been placed, that senator might be in hot water with his/her party. That's because leaders from both parties are urging passage of the bill in a particularly tight election season."

Looks to me like opponents of Coburn-Obama have decided to see how long the measure's supporters in the Blogosphere can keep up the campaign of unmasking anonymous holders. There are more than 75 senators who are not co-sponsors of the bill.

If even a dozen or 15 of them agree to place successive anonymous holds after each new holder is unmasked - assuming they are - they could easily exhaust the legislative calendar and perhaps also the Blogosphere, thus effectively blocking consideration of the bill.

And don't think there aren't at least that many senators from both parties who would be more than happy to play a role in such a scenario.

UPDATE: Frist warns Democrats they will pay

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is again using his VOLPAC blog to stay ahead of the issue, posting a warning just minutes ago that Democrats will suffer "consequences of further obstruction." Go here for the full Frist.

But note that he is not fixing a date for a vote: "Now is the time to act on S. 2590. And we will act this September to pass this bill and bring the bright light of public scrutiny to the federal budget."

UPDATE: Has Stevens renewed his hold?

The Senate is aswirl with talk that Stevens has indeed renewed his hold, even as a second Democrat has placed a [third] anonymous hold.

Is it time for a "Cut the BS, Pass the Bill" campaign by the Blosophere?

Or is Stevens simply trying to tell Frist who is really Senate Majority Leader, at least on spending issues?

Frist responds:

"As soon as I blogged this, I received word that a Republican Senator has not cleared the bill. Let me be clear, hold or no hold, I will bring this legislation to the floor for a vote in September."