GOP Senators Refusing To Work Past 2PM, Invoking Obscure Rule

Written by Ryan Grim

Senate Republicans fuming over the passage of health care reform are now refusing to work past 2 p.m. — a tactic they can employ by invoking a little-known Senate rule.

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

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) tweeted today : “Disappointed. Rs refusing to allow hearings today. Had to cancel my oversight hearing on police training contracts in Afghanistan.”

Sen. Mark Udall also complained that he had to delay a hearing on the cause of Western forest fires.

Making good on Sen. John McCain’s threat to withhold all Republican cooperation from Democrats in the Senate in retribution for the majority party using reconciliation to pass health care reform, the GOP used the rule that states committees can only meet when the chamber is in session with the unanimous consent of all members. That consent has almost never been withheld — until now.

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