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Senators opt to drink milk on Senate floor during impeachment trial
Multiple senators have taken to drinking milk on the Senate floor this week during the chamber's impeachment trial.
"It's true, I had some milk with my chocolate," Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) tweeted Wednesday evening.
"I guess I could've added vodka & had a White Russian (minus the Kahlua). But @RepAdamSchiff probably would've accused me of collusion," he quipped.
An aide to Sen. Ted Cruz confirmed that the Texas Republican also had a glass of milk late into proceedings Tuesday night, when senators were in the chamber until nearly 2 a.m. voting on the rules for the trial.
The aide, deputy chief of staff Sam Cooper, said the Senate cloakroom will keep the beverage cold for senators.
During the trial, senators are required to sit quietly at their desks, refrain from talking and not use electronic devices while the impeachment articles are debated.
Senators spend most of the time in their seats but are allowed to get up to go to the restroom and the cloakroom, where snacks are stored for the members.
The Cut reported that staff in the Republican and Democratic cloakrooms have in recent years allowed only water on the Senate floor.
But a former Senate parliamentarian noted to CNN that a quasi-rule started years ago allowed senators suffering from ulcers to drink milk in addition to water.
"It was thought to be a treatment for peptic ulcer disease in the '50s, and there was no medicines for peptic ulcer disease, but people would drink milk. And so the senators were allowed to drink milk because they had ulcers," Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told NBC News.
Multiple senators have used the renewed attention to chamber process for the impeachment trial to make light of any potential rules surrounding beverages.
"There's only two drinks allowed on the Senate floor: milk and water. That must come from a Wisconsin senator, right?" Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joked.
The Wall Street Journal reported that there is no official rule that stops senators from drinking beverages other than milk on the Senate floor, with the Senate historian noting "anecdotal evidence" of lawmakers drinking other beverages in years past, such as eggnog and orange juice.