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Senate Republicans refuse to work past 2 p.m. [Updated!]

"There is a little-known rule in the Senate stating that hearings can’t happen after 2:00 p.m. each day without unanimous consent," explains Amanda Terkel. "However, every day, at the start of business, the Senate generally agrees, by unanimous consent, to waive this rule and continue with the necessary business of holding hearings."

Every day, that is, until now. Republicans angry about the passage of health-care reform are invoking the dreaded half-day maneuver. Terkel explains:

Today, during a Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing on transparency, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that he had to stop the proceedings because of Republican blocks. ... The AP also reported today that Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) had a hearing on the bark beetle canceled today “after Republicans angry over the passage of health insurance reform legislation blocked it by using an obscure Senate rule requiring a unanimous consent to hold hearings scheduled after 2 p.m.”

I could imagine a lot of smart ways to begin obstructing the chamber and making life miserable for Democrats. But declaring that you won't work after 2 p.m? Do Republicans really think the average American is going to rally to that battle cry?

Update: My colleague Paul Kane notes that this isn't specifically a 2 p.m. rule. Rather, the Senate needs unanimous consent to continue work two hours after it's gaveled into sessions. So it could be earlier than 2 p.m. And it turns out to be an old minority trick that Democrats have used too. This is further evidence, I think, that it's long past time to clean the Senate rulebook and get rid of the minority's ability to throw these procedural tantrums.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 24, 2010; 9:14 AM ET
 
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Comments

It's another political opportunity for Dems. But I doubt they're smart enough to take advantage.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 24, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"Do Republicans really think the average American is going to rally to that battle cry?"

Maybe, but it seems counter-productive, unless they think slowing down the rate at which things get done will reflect poorly on the Democrats. But working half-days, because the Republicans insist, gives the Democrats an easy excuse for not getting anything else done.

Also, seeming like poor losers or bad sports doesn't play well, generally.

And I'd think their best political tactic would be to wait for the next big piece of legislation to come from the Democrats, attempt to make it seems as onerous and controversial as possible, and obstruct accordingly. Working half-days now sounds like they're just trying to delay anything else from happening.

Or maybe they just think it's a good excuse to take afternoons off.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 24, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

i hope this gets lots of play.

......as many americans work two jobs, and are grateful if they can even find a job these days, barely have time to see their kids and hold their lives together.....are struggling for/or without medical coverage....and no benefits or vacation time, or sick days when they need them....
and these SCOUNDRELS wont work past two in the afternoon.
they should be thrown out.
what an abuse of power and privilege.
truly, truly a disgusting affront to the american people.
they deserve to lose their jobs.
out. out. go away. you are a disgrace to our country and the people you have stopped serving.

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

their conduct is not only an outrage, but it is so infantile.
it a stretch of the imagination to think that this is the way a senator would intellectually protest something he doesnt believe in.
it is a like a child, who didnt want to do his homework, throwing over his dinner plate, or jumping up and down on his bed in the morning, saying that he wont go to school.

what a shameful group.
that, combined with the "crosshairs" comment, and boehner's absolutely inarticulate closing statement before the vote.....how much more spiritually and intellectually impoverished could they be.
if i were a republican, i would be deeply ashamed of the character of my party.

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

ya those Republicans are idiots, crooks and they ALL should be thrown in jail (without their healthcare). Ya toss them all out and put progressives in there!!!


Way to stay out of the partisan fray there Ezra!

but seriously its wrong. we all know its wrong but its not as if Dems or Republicans are really hard-working when they're in the legislature are they? How many actual working days do they have? Now i know that they travel back, meet with their constituents etc but as jkaren says when many people are working day and night just to pay their mortgage, put food on the table most of these goofballs (both Dems and Reps) spend way too many nights partying it up at $1000 a plate fundraisers. Don't make like Dems don't do the same thing. They're not immune to stupidity, lying etc.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"way to stay out of the partisan fray"

i think it is important to speak about this.
this action is a real affront to the american people.
it is not a joke.
they are paid to show up and do their work, especially like everyone else in the country.
they are no different.
and should feel more of a commitment, since they are actually elected, not just chosen by one or two people, for their job.

this is a real abuse of power and privilege, especially at this important time.
if they have disagreements, fair enough...but the way to deal with that in the senate...is not to decide that they wont "show up."

unbelievable.
send them back to kindergarten, so they learn the rules of civility.
"you dont walk away from the table, until you finish your work"

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

This is too funny for words. They just keep digging themselves into a hole.

Posted by: cbr1 | March 24, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Just to get an actual fact in here, the rule in question is Senate Rule 26, Section 5(a):

[W]hen the Senate is in session, no committee of the Senate or any subcommittee thereof may meet, without special leave, after the conclusion of the first two hours after the meeting of the Senate commenced and in no case after two o'clock postmeridian unless consent therefor has been obtained from the majority leader and the minority leader...

http://rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXXVI

Posted by: rt42 | March 24, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

on second thought....good....

let them act like this.
their petulance, tempers and acts of juvenile insolence
just make the democrats look like the "adults."
each day, barack obama, nancy pelosi and other democratic leaders are looking better and better...more serious, more positive, confident, centered,functioning and purposeful.
the republican leaders are sinking to the level of the tea party goblins with their recent dog and pony show antics.

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

jkaren,

but the point is that Dems have done similar obstruction when they were not in power. If Ezra pointed that out then then fine. If not, its partisanship to me.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=16980

I don't know anything about this but at 5 second google search found this. I'm sure i could find others.

To get you and others incensed about this while not also admitting that Dems did it to when they weren't in power is just wrong.

Are the Republicans wrong, YES. Never said they weren't. But were you around complaining that judges weren't confirmed in the last Presidency? Will you be complaining the next time Dems aren't in the majority and blocking things?

If I had time or cared I probably could find plenty of other examples of Dems obstruction.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Good. It is time for a full scale review and clean up of some of the more ridiculous rules by which the Senate "operates". Can't the VP act to do so at the start of a congress? Even if filibuster reform can't be pulled off, there seems to be a lot of other stupid rules that could be tossed out. Nice to have the Republicans demonstrating them all so clearly for us.

Posted by: jeirvine | March 24, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

2:15?

TO THE BARRICADES!

Posted by: adamiani | March 24, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

They're wandering around in a fugue, simply disbelieving they lost the Super Bowl in the final seconds of the game. They bet on a singular strategy and failed, thanks to the extraordinary teamwork of Obama and Pelosi.

This victory allows the Democrats to set the dial back to January 20, 2009, and the GOP knows it, but don't know what to do. Here's a tip: start listening to Frum.

Posted by: scarlota | March 24, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"To get you and others incensed about this while not also admitting that Dems did it to when they weren't in power is just wrong."

i campaigned for bill clinton with all of my heart, and you couldnt find a democrat more incensed and disappointed with the abuse of power of the clintons than i was.
i dont like to see elected officials, betray a sense of trust with the american people.
this is another example.
but at this time, when american people are really struggling for jobs....out of work....hanging on by threads...to decided that they wont work after 2 pm....is without conscience.
they need to be called out on it.
they should be "impeached" too.
enough is enough.

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

@jkaren: "if i were a republican, i would be deeply ashamed of the character of my party."

Because they want to go home at 2pm? It'd take a lot more than that to feel "deeply ashamed of the character of my party". But, give me an American Conservative Party or a Libertarian Party that can actually win majorities in the house or the presidency, then I'll become a registered member of that party.

Until then, I remain a registered Republican.

@Visionbrkr: "But were you around complaining that judges weren't confirmed in the last Presidency? Will you be complaining the next time Dems aren't in the majority and blocking things?"

No, I'm pretty sure if the Republicans were proposing tax cuts and Social Security reform and that Democrats were sending everybody home at 2 pm to try and slow it down, jkaren would laud them as American heroes, valiantly fighting the good fight against those rascally Republicans.

But "the ends justifies the means" is only true when you agree with the ends. If you don't agree with the ends, then of course almost any form of resistance is juvenile, selfish, greedy, childish--or pick an pejorative you please.

I'm mostly interested in how this plays politically. I think it's a bad strategy. Republicans should want the Democrats to get a started ASAP on some cap and trade or immigration legislation that will be controversial and easy to obstruct. Then they can use the weight of their opponents against them.

This way, they cast themselves as the problem, without a clear explanation as to why they are really doing it.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"Because they want to go home at 2pm? It'd take a lot more than that to feel "deeply ashamed of the character of my party"

well, that is too bad that you feel that way, kevin.
i am on way to work this morning at a homeless shelter, in one hour
and i dont think too many of the people that are there right now, and many, through no fault of their own at this time,would share your feelings
shall i ask them this morning, what they think?

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

This reads like the Onion: "Citing Principled Opposition to Health Reform Law, Republican Senators Demand Half-Day Workschedule."

"Everyone knows we're going to vote no," said one Republican Senator, "Tea Parties have replaced my tee time, and I'm sick and tired of Democrats making me prove again and again that I'm no tool of the uninsured and the sick."

"Democrats just voted a new tax on people making more than a quarter-million a year. For a lot of us, it's either get a second job or give up the second yacht," said one Republican Committee Chair. "Leaving the office at 2 means I can pick up some work on the side. Man, if I'd seen this coming, I'd have voted differently on that jobs bill, that's for sure."

Posted by: theorajones1 | March 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to show up at 3:00 every day and complain on C-SPAN about how they can't do anything because the Republicans all went home at 2:00.

Posted by: tl_houston | March 24, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

theorajones,

Just to let you know that's not the ONLY tax in the HCR bill. That is unless you think your lovely benefactors at insurance companies and pharma companies will just dip into their profits for their new taxes on healthcare. But i'm sure that works for you. Nothing like selective understanding of facts!


Personally i expect this to be played up here and in liberal circles like Countdown and Maddow etc. So basically about 10% of the population will hear about it.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Next, I'm looking forward to the entire Republican caucus showing up for work with bags over their heads.

Posted by: AuthorEditor | March 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

@jkaren: "i am on way to work this morning at a homeless shelter, in one hour and i dont think too many of the people that are there right now, and many, through no fault of their own at this time,would share your feelings shall i ask them this morning, what they think?"

That's a bit of a non-sequitur. But, okay. How would their lives be improved if Republicans put in a full day instead of leaving at home at 2pm?

And I should be ashamed of my party because you're going to work at a homeless shelter? Kudos and congrats on the charitable path you have taken with your life, but those two things don't go together. Those at the shelter may agree I should be ashamed of my party, and that should influence me because of . . . peer pressure? Which is a bad thing if they are trying to get me to spoke, but good if they are trying to get me to be ashamed of the GOP?

I'm just trying to follow the logic here.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"The Democrats need to show up at 3:00 every day and complain on C-SPAN about how they can't do anything because the Republicans all went home at 2:00."


"80 percent of life, is just showing up."~~~~
woody allen
if the republicans cant show up, they dont deserve their salary.
or their benefits.
or their perks.
or their fancy offices and nice lunches overlooking the potomac.
or their fancy fundraising dinners.
or all of the money from their sycophantic lobbies.

they should be fired,
like any other employees who decide to bend the rules,
and just not "show up," when they dont like the project they happen to be working on.
ha!!! i would like to see that in this job market.

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Well, the game is to sit on a$$, and hope for the "destruction of America" that they have all forecast to come around and sweep them back into power. Turns out, they may have bought a bit to much stock in their own hyperbole.

Posted by: trident420 | March 24, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I personally think they need to spend less time in the chamber saying stupid stuff about each other and grandstanding in hearings.

On the other hand, these guys are just a bunch of petulant jerks. Now that we have a law, they should be working to change it.

Posted by: staticvars | March 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"That's a bit of a non-sequitur. But, okay. How would their lives be improved if Republicans put in a full day instead of leaving at home at 2pm?"


come on, kevin.
you know very well what this is all about.
this is about moral choices. about work ethic.
about showing up, because there are people who they represent, who cant find work, and would give their eye teeth for a job, to take care of themselves and their families..and cant find one.

this about what a country "becomes," when leaders exhibit such a sense of insolence. such a sense of entitlement in how they choose to act.

and no, "you shouldnt be ashamed of your party, because i am working in a homeless shelter.....you should be ashamed of what your party is doing today, because there are people living in a homeless shelter today, who are desperate for jobs, and are watching this example from our highest leadership.
what they are doing today, is a cause for shame.

Posted by: jkaren | March 24, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

jkaren,

I agree with you. That's why Republicans were asking last summer "Where are the jobs" when unemployment started to skyrocket. I'm guessing the answer is that Dems couldn't handle jobs and healthcare???

Remember that while everyone blames the former President for all that goes wrong the Democrats have controlled congress for going on 4 years now. They absolutely botched how bad the job market would be. I've long ago admitted that President Obama has done a much better job than a President McCain would have. Would you admit that the Dems have been horrible on the jobs front or are you one that believes the bailouts that were partially done in Bush's watch and partially on President Obama are ONLY Republicans fault?

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 24, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

You people actually believe that Congressional hearings actually accomplish things? I take it you've never attended one. You always - always - know what the witness is going to say. The Congressmen posture .... and, oh, forget it.

Posted by: ostap666 | March 24, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Any idea when or how we’ll know about today’s hearings?

Posted by: laurenelenasmith | March 24, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

"This victory allows the Democrats to set the dial back to January 20, 2009, and the GOP knows it, but don't know what to do. Here's a tip: start listening to Frum."

I agree 100% with scarlota. The smartest thing that they could do right now is suspend all of the political obstructionist stunts for a few weeks and act like grown-ups who actually care about policy. They should spend 100% of their time talking about the economy and the debt and pitching concrete ideas to fix both.

But, happily for the Democrats, they are instead curling up into the fetal position and behaving like loons.

Posted by: Patrick_M | March 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Kevin Willis' thought that Republicans should be allowing the Dems to move on to some other big piece of legislation. While Kevin may be right that it's a better political move, I'd just prefer it because that's what government is supposed to do (I'm sure Kevin *also* supports the government working on actual things).

Posted by: MosBen | March 24, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"the Democrats have controlled congress for going on 4 years now"

And yet they can't even make Congress stay open past 2PM if Republicans oppose it.

Posted by: theorajones1 | March 24, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Can we pledge to send adults to Congress in the next voting round and stop allowing children to run the country?

Posted by: kcooper39 | March 24, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

A filibuster is at least socially optimal from the perspective of the minority party, because they believe that the world is a better place if legislation doesn't pass. Every minority party is going to do what it can within the rules to prevent legislation it doesn't like from passing.

But this nonsense is just petulant brat behavior. If you don't get your way on one thing, you're going to kick and scream until everyone ends up unhappy. This behavior has nothing to do with making the world a better place and everything to do with throwing a hissy fit.

Posted by: jeffwacker | March 24, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps readers like Kevin believe in the "two wrongs make it right" philosophy...or just enjoy being deliberately obtuse and misunderestimated.

Posted by: catherine1096 | March 24, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I for one am happy about this 2 pm cutoff, that way congress will be delayed in the other upcoming damaging legislation that endangers our freedoms and standard of living. People are mad at congress and that this healthcare bill passed. Congress used to go home to regular jobs to support themselves and with this debt we are accumulating we are on the the verge of total economic collapse ,so maybe that would be an excellant way to start to pay off the debt. Start cutting off their great salaries and benefits. Our founding fathers believed in the principles of self-government and this health care bill is a big step toward tyranny.

Posted by: jack99 | March 24, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The GOP are the most obvious poor sports and crybabies...they will try anything but don't seem to realize that they are hurting themselves more than they the Democrats. The GOP will go the way of the Dinosaurs which is what they deserve.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | March 24, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

What a life! Senators make, at a minimum, $150,000.00. And to say we're only going to work for two hours a day! Sign me up!

Come on America! We need to bolster these brave Republican's for their mighty fight to make six figures for two hours of work. They are fighting the good fight! They lost a legislative battle, one which was pretty popular with a majority of voters, and their feelings were hurt over it. But they need our support!

We need the GOP to stop everything! We need to fund their lifestyles with our tax dollars so they can work two hours a day!

Posted by: MsJoanne | March 24, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@MosBen: "I'm sure Kevin *also* supports the government working on actual things."

It's what they are there for. Not necessarily just crafting legislation--I'm fine if unworkable legislation never gets voted into law. I'd be find with a congress that never managed to get anything actually passed except the budget. Better no law than bad law, and bureaucracy tends to be something we add in haste and repent at leisure.

That being said, they are there to argue and legislate real issues, and pass (or repeal) real laws, not just slow everything down and take the afternoon off. They should be engaged in real arguments over policy (although they were very procedural with HCR, at least there is an argument to be made that there was "more discussion" and transparency, even though the Republicans did often mischaracterize the bill).

That being said, Gilbertpb40 says: "The GOP will go the way of the Dinosaurs which is what they deserve."

And I say that's wishful thinking. If the GOP get drubbed in the midterms (not a likely outcome), they will change their strategy and try, try again. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 24, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

@catherine1096: "Perhaps readers like Kevin believe in the 'two wrongs make it right' philosophy"

Nope, but two Wrights make an airplane! Ba-dum-dum!

No, I just think its best to keep things in perspective.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 24, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

those keep america safe freaks should be furious with the GOP Senators. They are playing with our national security by not holding these important meetings.

GOP at its most infantile!!!!

Posted by: joejoe2000 | March 24, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Oooo...Republicans have a massive back-fire on their hands. Are these guys so far removed from reality not to realize how this is going to play out in the press.

"Republicans too lazy to work more than half day"

"Republicans don't want to work past 2, so they block ALL of Congresses work"

Etc...

I wonder how long it will be until some business near and dear to Republicans hearts needs to come to the floor? Military base funding, or some red-state pork project that employs thousands?

Serious. This will take the case for the all time backfire.

Posted by: Nosh1 | March 24, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Republican party, for advancing the electoral interests of the Democrats. We will never forget you.

Posted by: Ladyrantsalot | March 24, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse


When many of the American people are working all kinds of hours and jobs and some Americans are not working at all and would love dearly to work past 2:00 or 2 hours after 'start' time, these GOP clowns really have gone 'round the bend.
Well...just more and more idiotic fodder for Dems. to frame them with in Nov.

Posted by: dcunning1 | March 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

A congressional temper-tantrum.

Nice.

Posted by: trident420 | March 24, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I think that it is an all together silly rule. Most Americans are working longer hours with out additional pay just to get the extra duties that are placed on them done. Some Americans are working 2 and 3 jobs just to make ends meet. I don't see how ANY OF THEM Dem or Repub can pull this crap at a time like this. If I told my boss that I refuse to work past 2pm today would be my last day in my job. So for everyone that refuse to do the people's business start looking for another position because we are not going for this.

Posted by: c-love | March 24, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is not your father's Democratic party. I think they suddenly ARE smart enough to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities.

Posted by: annie7 | March 24, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse


Sensible Americans can only see this as more obstructionism taken to the realm of silliness. The GOP is making itself into a
laughing stock by engaging in exercises of utter futility.
They are PAID to come up with good ideas to dig the American people out of the ditch the prior Keystone Kops drove us into. How about starting that at 2:00?

Posted by: dcunning1 | March 24, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Lets say the average work day is 8 hrs. and they are now working 2hrs. Cut their
pay 75%
Oh now they are part-timers, there go the benefits including health care

Posted by: algonq | March 24, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Is there a rule to fire republicans because they are not pulling their share of the work?

Can the republicans pay be stoppd?

Can the Supreme Court hold them in contempt.

Does President Obama have the authority to order them back to work?

Posted by: RedFeather | March 24, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Is Newt Gingrich back in charge to shutdown the government?

Posted by: knjincvc | March 24, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

What happens when one team doesn't show up for the Super Bowl game? What happens when a fighter runs away from the fight? What happens when an adult pouts passively aggressively and simply refuses to engage - because they can? Fine. The rule says you can go home at 2pm. It's a free country. But for the love of all the soldiers, those who elected you AND Mike, make a stand and say WHY you are going home at 2pm and NOT voting on the needs of OUR country. Who do you think you are?

Posted by: mycountrytisofthee | March 28, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

From various sources:
"Senator John McCain, R. Arizona, has been quoted as saying that there will be no cooperation with pending matters for the remainder of the year.

Senator Jim Bunning, R. Kentucky, will hold up a vote on extension of COBRA and unemployment benefits, scheduled before the Easter holiday recess. (Round 2.)

On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee was forced to cancel a hearing as was the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Claire McCaskill: "Had to cancel oversight hearing on police training contracts in Afghanistan."

Sen. Mark Udall: hearing on the cause of Western forest fires cancelled.

Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked for consent for his panel to operate Wednesday afternoon. He noted, ironically, that his request HAD the support of McCain BUT Richard Burr R. NC objected.

The GOP objection blocked testimony from Admiral Robert Willard, United States Navy Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command; from General Kevin Chilton, United States Air Force, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, and from General Walter Sharp, United States Army Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.

Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) livid when committee forced to delay consideration of judicial nominees.

Today's action brought the Senate to a halt in the middle of a hearing on (note the irony), government transparency."

I wonder what won't get done on Monday.

Posted by: mycountrytisofthee | March 28, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I wonder what won't get done on Monday.

From various sources:
"Senator John McCain, R. Arizona, has been quoted as saying that there will be no cooperation with pending matters for the remainder of the year.

Senator Jim Bunning, R. Kentucky, will hold up a vote on extension of COBRA and unemployment benefits, scheduled before the Easter holiday recess. (Round 2.)

On Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee was forced to cancel a hearing as was the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Claire McCaskill: "Had to cancel oversight hearing on police training contracts in Afghanistan."

Sen. Mark Udall: hearing on the cause of Western forest fires cancelled.

Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked for consent for his panel to operate Wednesday afternoon. He noted, ironically, that his request HAD the support of McCain BUT Richard Burr R. NC objected.

The GOP objection blocked testimony from Admiral Robert Willard, United States Navy Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command; from General Kevin Chilton, United States Air Force, Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, and from General Walter Sharp, United States Army Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.

Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) livid when committee forced to delay consideration of judicial nominees.

Today's action brought the Senate to a halt in the middle of a hearing on (note the irony), government transparency."

Posted by: mycountrytisofthee | March 28, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

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