Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.Well, the DNC is taking Shelby to the wood shed with this biting news ad. In it, they explain how Shelby is not just blocking any nominee, he's blocking many national security nominees which has left "empty chairs in the Pentagon" (h/t Greg Sargent):
"While holds are frequent," CongressDaily's Dan Friedman and Megan Scully report (sub. req.), "Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal." The magazine reported aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were the source of the news about Shelby's blanket hold.
“Republican Senator Richard Shelby is holding these nominees up,” the vid says, linking Shelby’s hold to other GOP obstructionism and efforts to block other nominees: “Tell Senator Shelby and Senate Republicans: Shame on you for putting politics ahead of our nation’s security.”
Here was Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, doing the Senators bidding when he announced the holds on the floor of the Senate yesertday (via DKTV):