GOP senator on Warren: People need to be called out

GOP senator on Warren: People need to be called out
© Cameron Lancaster

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate panel approves GOP tax plan Republicans see rising Dem odds in Alabama Overnight Health Care: Nearly 1.5M sign up for ObamaCare so far | Schumer says Dems won't back ObamaCare deal if it's tied to tax bill | House passes fix to measure letting Pentagon approve medical treatments MORE (R-S.D.) early Wednesday defended the decision to bar Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenCordray's legacy of consumer protection worth defending Booker tries to find the right lane  Jones raised 0K a day after first Moore accusers came forward: report MORE (D-Mass.) from speaking on the floor late Tuesday after she was accused of having impugned another senator.

"It was a clear violation of the rules ... rules say it, 'directly or indirectly impugning the character or conduct of another colleague,' and she clearly had done that. She crossed that line," Thune said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"The whole message behind this was that the Senate's a place where collegiality is supposed to rule. There are rules. We're supposed to abide by those rules. If those rules are not adhered to, people need to be called out."

The Senate voted Tuesday to prevent Warren from speaking on the floor after Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellAlabama election has GOP racing against the clock McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money Klobuchar taking over Franken's sexual assault bill MORE (R-Ky.) said her blistering comments about fellow Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFederal judge rules Trump defunding sanctuary cities 'unconstitutional on its face' FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Alabama election has GOP racing against the clock MORE (R-Ala.), President Trump's pick for attorney general, broke the chamber's rules.

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Senators rebuked Warren in a 49-43 party-line vote, rejecting Warren's push to overturn a ruling by Senate Republicans that she had violated the rule during a floor speech.

The move bars Warren from speaking on the floor until the Senate wraps up its debate on Sessions's nomination.

Under the Senate's Rule 19, senators are not allowed to "directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator."

On Tuesday night, Warren gave a speech against Sessions's nomination, arguing he wouldn't stand up to Trump's "campaign of bigotry." In her speech, she quoted a letter from the late Coretta Scott King, the civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King Jr.

Thune said Wednesday that Warren was "impugning the character of a colleague."

"In this case, Jeff Sessions, who most of who have served with him understand and know he's a man of absolute integrity," Thune said.

He added that the Massachusetts senator was in clear violation of the rules.

"The Senate is a collegial place, but most of us like to think of it as we're all part of a team," he said.

"And when one of your team members gets attacked, you typically defend them, and that's simply what happened last night." 

He also called it "unfortunate" that more Democrats didn't step up and "acknowledge that that was crossing a line."