(PartiallyPolitics.com) – Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security panel, walked out of a committee markup following an altercation with Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman.
Paul expressed his frustrations with Peter’s use of procedural tactics as a way of stopping Democrats from voting for Republican amendments to the Fire Grants and Safety Act. Peter had added second-degree amendments that fundamentally altered the content of the amendments.
Paul during the committee meeting tried to push for all the Republican members to walk out. He had said that if this was how Peter was going to be running the committee then the Republicans have no reason to “stick around.”
The atmosphere during the committee meeting during the incident became particularly tense, leading to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), formerly a Democrat who has now turned independent, suggesting that they should all step out and calm down in order to figure out the proper procedures. She specifically pleaded for the committee hearing to not turn “partisan” in the way that other committees have in the past.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) both remained in the room and voted against the modified amendments. However, Paul had already walked out during that time.
This scene was not in line with the way the Homeland Security Committee used to operate in 2021 and 2022. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) had served as the panel’s ranking member at the time. Following Portman’s retirement in January, Paul took over as the top-ranking Republican on the panel.
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