The Corner

First Hearing, First Breach with Protocol

Senator Barbara Boxer is chairing her first hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee today, but it’s not going to hear from experts or anyone else who can advise the Senate.  No, it’s a hearing in which there are no witnesses.  In their stead are Senators themselves, telling their colleagues what they feel about global warming.  Ranking Member Jim Inhofe is, unsurprisingly, none too pleased:

Madam Chairman, before I begin my remarks on climate change I do want to point out that I disagree with the format of today’s hearing.  Just to hold a hearing for members to provide testimony is duplicative of the Senate floor.  We should be doing this in morning business on the floor.  When you insisted on holding this in the Committee, we suggested a forum or a roundtable instead of a hearing.  This event today breaks every hearing protocol of this Committee, from no agreed to witness list to testimony not being submitted under our rules.  If it were not your first hearing Madam Chairman, I would have objected to this hearing.   I do want to state for the record that by agreeing to today’s format, we are not setting a new precedent for this Committee and I will object in the future to any similar hearings.

Senator Inhofe goes on to explain, calmly and rationally, exactly why he has problems with the debate as it stands.

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