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Lindsey Graham Declares ‘No Nominations Go Forward’ Until He Gets A $50,000 Project

Lindsey Graham Declares ‘No Nominations Go Forward’ Until He Gets A $50,000 Project

Following in the footsteps of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), who placed a hold on over 70 of President Obama’s nominees last year in order to extort tens of billions of dollars worth of pork for his state, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threw a similar tantrum yesterday over a mere $50,000. Graham (R-SC) promised to shut down all executive branch and judicial confirmations in the Senate until he gets $50,000 to conduct a study on deepening the Port of Charleston:

Graham and fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, spoke at a news conference in Charleston about $50,000 in federal matching funds to move along the process of deepening Charleston Harbor to 50 feet to allow the next generation of larger cargo ships to dock there.

There is nothing that I will not do to right this wrong,” Graham said. “I talked to the vice president. I made it clear to him that none of their nominees are going forward, that the squeaky wheel seems to get the oil. Well nobody’s going forward in the Senate until we address this.”

Graham is able to get away with this kind of extortion because the Senate failed to fix its utterly broken rules when it had the chance to do so last January. Under these rules, a tiny minority of the Senate can force up to 30 hours of pointless delay before the Senate can vote on nearly anything. If these 30 hours are multiplied across all the Senate-confirmed jobs a new president needs to fill, it adds up to more time than the Senate works during two entire presidential terms.

Nor is Graham the only senator manipulating the Senate’s rules to prevent completely uncontroversial matters from moving forward. Earlier this year, eight senators threatened to place a hold on any bill they deem unconstitutional. While this threat may not sound so bad on its own, the list of Senators making the threat includes Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who believes that all federal involvement in education violates the Constitution, and Sen. Mike “a noun, a verb, and unconstitutional” Lee (R-UT), who believes that child labor laws, FEMA, food stamps, the FDA, Medicaid, income assistance for the poor and even Medicare and Social Security violate the Constitution.

UPDATE: While Graham is holding every single of of the President’s judicial nominees hostage, the Republican Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit just spoke out against the Senate’s failure to “approve judges, even those who were not controversial”:

“Some nominations have now been in limbo for over a year,” said [Chief Judge Joel] Dubina. “I don’t know what it’s going to take to break this logjam. But something needs to be done,” he said.

“Justice delayed is justice denied and there are only so many hours in the day where a judge, like any other person, can perform quality work.”

Dubina’s remarks echo those of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, who also recently called upon the Senate to stop partisan obstruction of judicial nominees.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.

 

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Photo: Courtesy of skibum415 via flickr
written by Ian Millhiser, a ThinkProgress blogger

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5:49PM PDT on Apr 16, 2011

Linsey Graham, grow up and quit your childish behaviour. I don't know how the President keeps his cool with idiots. You need a swift kick you know where with my pointy toe shoe. Act like a true American adult and not a sniffling kid.

1:36AM PDT on Apr 15, 2011

THE U.SENATE HAS SUNK TO AN ALL TIME LOW, WHEN A REPUBLICAN SENATOR USES blackmail. THESE ARE THE 'ETHiCIS AND MORALITY' OF THE PEOPLE WE CONTINUE TO ELECT TO REPRESENT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S INTERESTS, AND WILL THE PEOPLE CONTINUE THIS?

8:31PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Why hasn't this country moved passed its obscession with infantile hypocrites? Will it ever happen?

5:30PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

THROW THEM ALL OUT AN START A NEW WITH OBAMA

5:01PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Oh, no, you can't raise the dock fees to pay for this. Only those "stupid, lazy" (honest) poor people get kicked off welfare.

What a perfect example of what's wrong with Congress. Didn't Graham et al's parents ever introduce them to the idea that they can't always have everything they want?

3:41PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I can not believe the stuff these republicans are spouting. They are cutting programs for the people as they redecorate their office, enlarge their staffs, Get their health programs, and cut most thing the citizens are needing. Just so they can be the 'big brother' to us all. If any one votes for these rude boys again....they need to go to the doctors and get their heads examined.

3:12PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Lindsey Graham, quit acting like a school boy. America can't AFFORD you and your little hissy fits. Grow up.

2:26PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Given that the present crop of Republican leaders don't even have the moral equivilent of an opposable thumb when it comes to doing their job. The whole antics is contributing to a farce which is notorious for their infantile engagement with their world, as they inhabit a domain of greedy self-gratification. This is only going to result in more innocent people getting killed, but then that is what they are wanting.

9:57AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

So graham, a republican, a member of the party that constantly rails about earmarks, porkbarrel projects, etc., is guilty of what he accuses others of .
Surprise, surprise. Another hypocritical P.O.S.

8:38AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

republinazi says it all

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