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14 June 2017, 07:38 | Felicia Parsons
The Senate is blocking TV reporters from interviewing lawmakers in the Capitol
The alliance was crediting Rules ranking member Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) for convincing the chairman of the committee to reverse the decision.
Shelby defended the measure, saying in a statement that the panel hasn't changed existing rules and is merely trying to enforce them to provide safety for lawmakers, journalists, aides and members of the public.
Reached by phone, a representative for the Senate Radio and Television Correspondents Gallery said she could not comment on the directive and referred CNNMoney to the Senate Rules Committee.
And confusion has set off a firestorm in the Capitol. Democratic members on the Rules Committee were reportedly not informed of the decision to implement new press restrictions. In recent weeks, Senate staffers have sought to impose some controls, placing velvet ropes up to keep reporters from blocking the route to the Senate underground trolley.
Rules Committee Chairman Sen. In a statement, Klobuchar said she called on Republicans "to allow reporters to do their jobs".
Several reporters urged their viewers to call to the Capitol.
Left-wing sources have argued that the GOP instituted the change to prevent journalists from getting details on the health care bill lawmakers are now working on, as well as to generally further erode democracy and freedom of the press. No senators have come out to publicly defend the rule change; a number have publicly stated their disagreement with it, mostly Democrats.
The anti-press environment inspired by President Trump gave way to this sort of restrictive, anti-Democratic rule change.
"I don't know why Republicans are doubling down on their efforts to do the public's business in secret, in secret hearings on health care, not allowing reporters to talk to them in hallways, we have an ability to tell people what we're doing and they're hiding", Murray said.
"The bottom line, as he stated repeatedly throughout the day to multiple reporters, is Sen".
- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT)Press access should never be restricted unfairly, particularly not when one party is trying to sneak a major bill through Congress.
- Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) June 13, 2017Maybe not the right moment to lower the secrecy veil on Congress.
Shelby himself told reporters that what had happened "was a miscommunication".
But not before South Carolina Republican U.S. Sens.
The flareup also comes as the House prepares to swear in Greg Gianforte, the Montana congressman-elect who pled guilty to a misdemeanor assault Monday involving a reporter who had tried to interview him about the House version of the health care bill. Further thickening the plot, reports surfaced that the SRC's rule change had been reversed.
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