Secret holds and nominations

As we approach the one year anniversary of President Obama’s nomination of John J. Sullivan to a position on the Federal Election Commission, there’s news that Senators Wyden and Grassley recently introduced legislation to end “secret holds.”  The press release speaks in terms of holds on legislation; the text of the measure follows.

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    Rule VII of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `7. (a) The majority and minority leaders of the Senate or their designees shall recognize a notice of intent of a Senator who is a member of their caucus to object to proceeding to a measure or matter only if the Senator–
    `(1) submits the notice of intent in writing to the appropriate leader or their designee and grants in the notice permission for the leader or designee to object in the Senator’s name; and
    `(2) not later than 2 session days after the submission under clause (1), submits for inclusion in the Congressional Record and in the applicable calendar section described in subparagraph (b) the following notice:
    `I, Senator XXX, intend to object to proceeding to XXX, dated XXX.’.
    `(b) The Secretary of the Senate shall maintain for both the Senate Calendar of Business and the Senate Executive Calendar a separate section entitled `Notices of Intent to Object to Proceeding’. Each section shall include the name of each Senator filing a notice under subparagraph (a)(2), the measure or matter covered by the calendar that the Senator objects to, and the date the objection was filed.
    `(c) A Senator may have an item relating to that Senator removed from a calendar to which it was added under subparagraph (b) by submitting for inclusion in the Congressional Record the following notice:
    `I, Senator XXX, do not object to proceeding to XXXX, dated XXXX.’.’.

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