Partisan conflict in the United States Senate reached a new flashpoint in Washington this week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took an extraordinary step earlier this week, silencing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren for, in his opinion, impugning the motives of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General nominee.
We asked Sen. Deb Fischer about the mood in Washington.
“Well, you know, I’m hoping that we can continue to be civil, that’s something that the Senate aspires to be a place where respectful debate can happen,” Fischer says.
McConnell interrupted Warren Tuesday while she was giving a speech to the near-empty Senate chamber. McConnell claimed Warren had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Session. Warren had been reading from a 30-year-old letter written by Coretta Scott King, critical of Sessions who at that time was nominated to serve as a federal judge.
McConnell claimed Warren has “impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama.”
He then asked for a series of roll-call votes to formally rebuke Warren and silence her for the remainder of the debate which ended with Session’s confirmation as Attorney General.
The votes passed on strictly party lines.
Fischer has a simple answer for the question of whether Warren crossed the line.
“Yes. I vote ‘Yes.’”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]