January 11th, 2011 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Senate Reform: Wyden Takes up Merkley's Fight, Targets Secret Holds

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has put forth a resolution in the newly convened Congress seeking to help reform one of the most stagnant and counterproductive institutions in U.S. politics—Wyden's very own U.S. Senate.

Wyden is targeting secret holds—a rule whereby a single senator, acting in secret, can hold up virtually any bill, resolution or nomination. Critics maintain that secret holds are a significant cause of the deadlock that has brought popular approval of Congress to an all-time low.

Wyden's resolution is co-sponsored by 13 senators, including 11 other Democrats as well as U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Susan Collins (R-Maine).

We've noted U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) is also fighting for Senate reform with an attempt to change the rules for a filibuster.

If Wyden or Merkley succeeds, they gain a place in the pantheon of noteworthy Oregon senators like Wayne Morse (for opposing the Gulf of Tonkin resolution), Bob Packwood (for major tax reform in 1986) and Mark Hatfield (for the Columbia Gorge Scenic Area).
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