UPDATE: Second Senator Had Hold on Transparency Bill

And we have a good idea who

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Days before Congress recessed for the month of August, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which was sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn and Barack Obama, was blocked from floor consideration by an anonymous senator. Since that time reporters and bloggers have sought to find out who it was.

On the heels of yesterday’s disclosure that Senator Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican, was the culprit, Mother Jones has learned that a second senator was impeding the bill – Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV). According to Byrd’s office, the senator released his hold earlier today; Byrd blocked the bill because he felt that the legislation was moving through the senate too fast.

Byrd, known for being an outspoken critic of the Iraq war and President Bush, has always been a strong lobbyist for the coal industry, which is largely based in West Virginia.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend