Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulGOP rep: Trump has 'extra-constitutional' view of presidency The ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? Rand Paul skeptical about Romney as secretary of State MORE (R-Ky.) blocked the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee from continuing a mark-up hearing on Wednesday in a sharp floor exchange with the committee’s chairman, Sen. Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (D-Iowa).
Paul insisted on enforcement of a rule that limits hearings from going beyond two hours' time while the Senate is in session. He demanded at least one hearing and longer deliberation on a long-anticipated 868-page education reform bill expected to soon pass out of the committee.
Harkin and Sen. Al FrankenAl FrankenDems press Trump to keep Obama overtime rule GOP wants to move fast on Sessions Overnight Cybersecurity: Lawmakers pushing for vote to delay warrant rule changes MORE (D-Minn.) blasted Paul after his objection, suggesting he has not worked well with the committee’s leadership and that his junior status means he missed important hearings held last year, before he was a member of the upper chamber.
“I am sorry the senator wasn’t here last year but the Senate is a continuing body,” said Harkin. “[T]he senator from Kentucky had every opportunity to let us know what we wanted in that bill but I never saw him, I never heard from him.”
Sen. Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate passes college anti-Semitism bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (D-Colo.), who is also a member of the committee, “beg[ged]” Paul to stand down and let the mark-up process on the bill continue, arguing that if the committee’s work had to be limited to two hours per day it would take more than two months to complete the legislation.