Legislation that would strengthen the beleaguered Freedom of Information Act had all the makings of what Capitol Hill politicos call a hot line bill.
It cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee by voice vote. More than 100 groups from across the political spectrum support it. The House approved a companion measure by a wide margin.
Yet, the bill sponsored by Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., sits in limbo.
The reason? Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl.
It's no secret that Kyl was the one who invoked a parliamentary procedure known as a secret hold last month to block the bill from sailing through the Senate without debate.
With just one objection, the bill went from "hot line" status to a legislative black hole.
"I cannot overestimate the power of each U.S. senator," said Robert Dove, the former parliamentarian of the Senate.
By placing the hold on the measure, Kyl is assured that nothing passes without his support, Dove said.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Update on Kyl Hold
From Rebecca Carr at Cox Newspapers comes this depressing update: