Richard Shelby has decided to release the holds he's been using to block more than 70 Obama nominees in hopes of scoring two lucrative projects for his home state. The Alabama senator, who was hammered by Democrats for obstructionism, said he used the holds "to get the White House's attention on two issues that are critical to our national security—the Air Force's aerial refueling tanker acquisition and the FBI's Terrorist Device Analytical Center."
Now that Shelby has Obama's attention, he's releasing his holds "on all but a few nominees directly related to the Air Force tanker acquisition," a spokesman said. Robert Gibbs on Friday said, "If you needed one example of what's wrong with this town, it might be that one senator can hold up 70 qualified individuals ... because he didn't get his earmarks." (Read more Richard Shelby stories.)