A bipartisan Senate bill that would have created a public database of all government contracts has been blocked by an unknown senator. The bill, which passed its committee unanimously, can now move forward only if the mysterious senator who placed it on “secret hold” removes the constraint.
Now the bill is in political limbo. Under Senate rules, unless the senator who placed the hold decides to lift it, the bill will not be brought up for a vote.
“It really is outrageous to do this in the dead of night as Congress is recessing,” said Gary Bass, executive director of OMB Watch, a budget watchdog group based in Washington. “The public has a right to know how the government spends money.”
The secret hold has prompted conservative and liberal government watchdog groups to band together to “smoke out” the senator responsible.