Washington, DC – Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, released the following statement on the heels of the Rules Committee hearing on whether to end ‘secret holds’ in the Senate:
“People in Washington talk about the importance of doing the country’s business. But when the cameras are off, one Senator can bring progress to a screeching halt by using a secret hold,” said Bennet. “One Senator can block important policies and reforms that help Colorado families—including creating jobs, fixing our broken immigration system and breaking our reliance on dirty fossil fuels. There’s no clearer example of a broken Washington than the secret hold. It’s time to fundamentally change the way Washington does business.”
Secret holds allow as few as one single Senator to unaccountably and anonymously block bills and nominations in the Senate. Earlier this year, Bennet offered a proposal that would go even further than the bill before the Rules Committee as part of his Plan for Washington Reform. In addition to ending secret holds, Bennet’s proposal would place time limits on holds and create a requirement that, after two days, holds must be both a matter of public record, and enjoy bipartisan support, in order to remain legitimate.
Last month, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor on the need to end secret holds and increase accountability and transparency in the Senate. In April, Bennet and several Senate colleagues sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid pushing for an end to secret holds.