While I don’t really believe that Mitch McConnell has very many strongly held principles, I do believe he has one that he lives by, which is “f*** with me and I’ll kill you.”
Under the terms of the rule, no Senate committee or subcommittee (except the Committees on Appropriations and Budget and their subcommittees) can meet after the Senate has been in session for two hours or past 2:00 p.m. unless one of the following things occur: (1) the Senate grants unanimous consent for them to meet; (2) both the majority and minority leaders (or their designees) agree to permit the meeting, and their agreement has been announced on the Senate floor; or (3) the Senate adopts a privileged motion to allow the meeting. Should a committee meet during a restricted time period without being granted permission, any action that it takes—such as ordering a bill or nomination reported to the Senate—is considered “null, void, and of no effect.”
The purpose of the rule is to block out time for senators to be present on the floor for votes, etc.
Today the Senate is considering the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. As 2 p.m. closed in, Mitch McConnell asked Chuck Schumer for his consent to continue the hearing beyond that witching hour.
— Roll Call (@rollcall) September 5, 2018
Note that the words had hardly left Schumer’s mouth when The Hill was already trumpeting Schumer’s genius in delaying the Kavanaugh hearing.
But even Wile E. Coyote doesn’t win them all, even with his Acme toolbox.
Schumer just forced McConnell to adjourn the Senate for the day in order to keep Kavanaugh's hearing going.
[Insert Senate rule explainer about the "two-hour rule" and unanimous consent]
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) September 5, 2018
The Senate is adjourned. The Kavanaugh hearing continues. And what was gained?
I asked Majority Leader McConnell's aide Don Stewart about the impact of Minority Leader Schumer's move on the floor this afternoon. Here's what he said: pic.twitter.com/Hj5R36gxif
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 5, 2018
Like the homely and slightly bulky handmaids that showed up, and like Linda Sarsour’s ejection, and like Guttenberg’s attempt to shake Kavanaugh’s hand, and like the “white power” gesture by Zina Bash, this is all just theater for the Democrat base and fodder for fundraising advertisements. The votes simply don’t exist to block Kavanaugh. And, if there were a sane opposition party, no one should want to block him. But there isn’t. So we have this kind of bullsh** aimed at impressing the mouthbreathers of the Antifa movement and trying to get them fired up to vote while wringing money from them.
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