The debate surrounding the government shutdown has been white hot in the Senate over the past few weeks, leading some lawmakers to complain about a lack of decorum.
Indeed, twice over the past two days, senators reminded their colleagues of Senate rules.
“I think we’ve all here in the Senate kind of lost the aura of Robert Byrd, who was such a stickler for Senate procedure,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday morning on the Senate floor. “I think we’ve all let things get away from us a little bit. The Senate is a very special place with very particular rules.”
Longstanding Senate precedents tied to the Senate’s original rules require senators to speak through the presiding officer, as noted in “Riddick’s Senate Procedure.”
“Senators in debate should address each other through the Chair and in the third person,” the book of precedents explains.
Additionally, Senate Rule 19 states: “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.”
Interestingly, Reid may have been reminding himself of those rules and precedents. The Nevada Democrat, who has sparred with tea party darling Sen. Ted Cruz over the past month, criticized the Texas Republican on Thursday for influencing House Republicans’ political strategy.
Continue reading here…
- Cruz urges Reid to call Senate into session and avert shutdown (presspass.nbcnews.com)
- Tammy Baldwin shuts down because of shutdown (host.madison.com)
- Harry Reid Wants to Brazenly Trample on the Minority to Get His Way (heritageaction.com)
- Probable cause found showing Iowa Sen. Sorenson violated rules (thegazette.com)
- Reid, Cruz battle as long week begins in Senate (politico.com)