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.