A controversial Democrat from New York declared a new time limit to prevent lengthy discussion in Congress on how a judicial vacancy should be filled.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has introduced a “two-hour rule” for the maximum length of time allowed for committee meetings.
“We invoked the two-hour rule because we cannot have business as usual when Republicans are destroying the institution as they have done,” Schumer said according to CBS News.
The decision means there will be no opportunity for committees or subcommittees to meet after the Senate has already been in session for two hours or anytime after 2 p.m. It could also delay a national security briefing and the confirmation hearing for acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.
The remarks came after President Donald Trump revealed he intended to replace the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the upcoming election on Nov. 3.
This displeased the Democrats who responded with threats to “pack the court” and undermine Congress if the president proceeds as planned.
“Because the Senate Republicans have no respect for the institution, we will not have business as usual here in the Senate,” Schumer said on Twitter.
He justified his extraordinary move to fight Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “every step of the way” by claiming he was honoring Ginsburg’s dying wish for the next president to choose her replacement.
“We are occupying the floor of the Senate and we are letting the American people know how much this affects them and asking, pleading with Americans [to] call your senators, tell them how bad this is,” Schumer said in a video shared on Twitter. “Tell them to abide by Justice Ginsburg’s last honorable wish, and that is let the next president decide, and then the election can help be a referendum on these issues, rather than jam it through as Mitch McConnell is doing. He is defiling the Senate, he has just about destroyed the Senate.”
However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) believes the two-hour rule is just another example of the Democrats trying to change the outcome of Election Day.
“Remember when Democratic leaders were demanding more briefings on election interference?” Rubio said on Twitter. “Senate Intel Committee scheduled one today with Bill Evanina, who leads our nation’s election security efforts. Sen. Schumer had a temper tantrum over [the latest] Supreme Court [nomination] and used [a] procedural move to cancel it.”