There was a bit of confusion in the Senate Judiciary Committee as Jeff Flake put on his p***y hat and tried to win back his “house consevative” cred with Senate Democrats after he’d announced he was going to vote for the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
Flake was seen flitting in an out of the rooms and caucusing with Chris Coons and Dianne Feinstein. When they came back in he requested a delay of no more than a week to investigate an event that occurred at an unknown place at an unknown time but was witnessed by people who deny witnessing it. Chuck Grassley brushed off the suggestion and moved the Kavanaugh nomination to a vote, which passed on an 11-10 vote. Then, to the surprise of all, he gaveled the meeting to a close, turned off the mikes, and left.
This caused some consternation to the Democrats.
Dianne Feinstein's reaction here is very me right now. pic.twitter.com/OP9I3Oiqoj
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 28, 2018
Feinstein: "is it gonna happen? You cut off a vote."
Grassley: "No, We didn't have a motion in front of us. This is all a gentlemen's and women's agreement." pic.twitter.com/bjZ4Q8uGlf
— Joyce Koh (@JoyceKohTV) September 28, 2018
Listen to this critical hot mic exchange between Grassley and Feinstein re what was agreed to. pic.twitter.com/Ew7HjrAWc8
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 28, 2018
Dianne Feinstein basically says WTF. Grassely answers “two hour rule.”
Paragraph 5(a) of Senate Rule XXVI, sometimes referred to as the “two-hour rule,” restricts the times that most Senate committees and subcommittees can meet when the full Senate is in session. The rule is intended to help balance the Senate’s committee and floor work and to minimize the logistical conflicts that Senators face between participating in committee hearings and markups and attending to their duties on the chamber floor.
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.”
Feinstein says, “so there is no vote.”
Grassley says, “we didn’t have a motion and we had to get this finished before two.”
Feinstein, “So there is no agreement.”
Grassley, “We have a ladies’ and gentleman’s agreement.”
Feinstein to Grassley on C-SPAN2 hot mic sounds a lot like: “Jeff can force it if he wants to but there is no agreement to do that” pic.twitter.com/elw0H6Ohbh
— Mike Sacks (@MikeSacksEsq) September 28, 2018
My guess is that McConnell isn’t going to let his time schedule be slowed down.
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