Mitch McConnell requires Elizabeth Warren to follow the Rules, and Stop the Name-Calling of fellow Senators!
Senate Republicans abruptly shut down Elizabeth Warren’s character assassination of Jeff Sessions on Tuesday night because her remarks violated the Senate’s rules of order. Warren’s shock at being held to account spoke volumes.
What’s all this Bru-Ha-Ha?
The Senate is currently debating President Trump’s nomination of Senator Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General. The Hill reported that during Warren’s “blistering speech” against Sessions’ nomination, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) interrupted her several times, because he claimed she broke Senate rules.
Warren objected, trying to excuse her disparagement of Sessions’ by invoking Civil Rights’ icon, Coretta Scott King. But it was to no avail.
Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), presiding officer during Warren’s speech, determined that she had violated Rule XIX.
According to the Rules of the Senate, Rule XIX, section 2 provides:
“No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”
Apparently, Democrats aren’t used to obeying the rules they require everyone else to live by. Thus, Warren objected multiple times and was shot down again and again by Daines and McConnell.
The Back and Forth
The Daily Caller reports that Warren quoted Coretta Scott King to accuse Sessions of being opposed to voting rights for blacks.
Daines: “The senator is reminded that it is a violation of Rule 19 of the standing rules of the Senate to ‘impute to another senator or senators any conduct or motive unworthy or becoming a senator,” Daines said.
Warren: “Mr. President, I don’t think I quite understand. I’m reading a letter form Coretta Scott King to the Judiciary Committee from 1986 that was admitted into the record. I’m simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be a federal court judge meant, and what it would mean in history for her.”
McConnell: “You stated that a sitting senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice.”
Daines: Rule 19 “applies to imputing conduct or motive through any form or voice to a sitting senator. The form of words includes quotes, articles, or other materials.”
20 minutes later …
McConnell: “The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama as warned by the chair. I call the senator to order under the provisions of Rule 19.”
Warren protested, and asked to continue. McConnell objected and Daines ordered her to take her seat. Show some respect, Fauxcahontas!
So That’s What it Feels Like
Finally, senators rebuked Warren in a 49-43 party-line vote, rejecting Warren’s attempt to overturn Daines’ ruling. Now she has to be quiet until the Senate votes on Sessions’ nomination; a welcome reprieve for Americans fed up with these seemingly endless, pointless Democrat tirades.
Nevertheless, the Twitter backlash provoked a partisan response:
Thus, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) urged their colleagues to dial down their rhetoric:
“Turn on the news and watch these parliaments around the world where people throw chairs at each other…I’m not arguing that we’re anywhere near that here, but we’re flirting with it. We have become a society incapable of having debates anymore.”
Hatch, noting he wasn’t sure Warren’s remarks actually violated Senate rules, argued Democrats are treating Sessions like he is a “terrible person.”
“All of us need to take stock and need to start thinking about the people on the other side of the aisle and need to start thinking about how we might bring each other together.”
Common sense words to live by; not that Dems will heed these warnings.