Per TPM, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has placed a hold on all of President Obama’s pending nominations. And apparently it’s because he didn’t get enough pork:
Shelby is holding Obama’s nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. CongressDaily laid out the programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:
– A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From the report: “Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals.” Federal Times offers more details on the tanker deal, and also confirms its connection to the hold.
– An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: “[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won’t build” the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based “at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.”
Isn’t it great that conservatives are so strong on fiscal discipline?
The Senate is scheduled to go into recess over President’s Day weekend. Obama should — no, he must — give recess appointments to all those on hold. Every. Single. One.
This is a test. Obama has so far not made a single recess appointment in the face of the most repeated abuse of Senate rules in Congressional history. When Jim DeMint put a hold on the nomination of the TSA chief even after the underpants bomber, Obama threw his own nominee under the bus.
If he lets the GOP get away with this one, he should resign and look for a job he is interested in.