Great story on a new hold....
A Kentucky senator is blocking legislation that would overturn President Bush's 2001 executive order giving presidents and former presidents more power to halt indefinitely the release of their White House records.Wow. Read on and you'll be quivering with outrage, unless you are a fan of the secret presidency...
While Republican Sen. Jim Bunning acknowledges using a parliamentary maneuver known as a "secret hold" to stall the measure, he has not made it clear why he opposes bipartisan legislation praised by some scholars for providing access to the inner workings of presidential administrations.
Bush has promised to veto the measure if the Senate passes it because it would "improperly impinge on the president's constitutional authority."
The House cleared the same bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., by a wide, veto-proof margin last April. Open government groups are pressing the Senate to follow suit, hoping to override a veto.
Bunning's hold on the bill comes as the White House faces a possible temporary restraining order to bar its administrative office from destroying back-up copies of some 5 million missing e-mails documenting the inner thinking of top presidential aides. Federal law dictates that the e-mails be preserved as part of the public record.
"It's all part of the same continuum: a complete lack of respect for the public and the public's right to know what this president did and why," said Anne L. Weismann, chief counsel for the watchdog group Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.