Maybe it’s time to revisit the Senate’s arcane rules, which allow any individual senator to block any presidential appointee on a whim. With dozens of government posts still unfilled, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) is reportedly throwing a historically unprecedented temper tantrum by placing a hold on at least 70 presidentially nominated jobs. Shelby’s office will not talk to reporters about the reported move, which can be undertaken anonymously, but according to Congress Daily the lawmaker has clashed with the White House over a $40 billion military contract whose recipient is threatening to scrap a planned factory in Mobile, Alabama. Holds force the Senate to break a filibuster, which requires 60 votes and can slow Congressional business to a crawl even if the vote succeeds.
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