Tensions boil over on Senate floor amid coronavirus debate 

Tensions boiled over on the Senate floor Monday as senators debated a mammoth coronavirus stimulus package.

The normally clubby atmosphere was gone as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP noncommittal about vote on potential Trump-Pelosi coronavirus deal Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas MORE (R-Ky.) opened the chamber with a blistering speech, Democrats temporary blocked Republicans from speaking and one senator was overheard calling the exchange “bullshit.”

McConnell eviscerated Democrats during his speech, at one point asking, "are you kidding me?"


“It is time for Democrats to stop playing politics and step up to the plate,” McConnell added.

But the frustrations only escalated from there.

When Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP eyes Oct. 26 for confirming Barrett to Supreme Court GOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election This week: Clock ticks on chance for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Maine) tried to get permission to speak, Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump to lift Sudan terror sponsor designation Ocasio-Cortez, progressives call on Senate not to confirm lobbyists or executives to future administration posts The 2016 and 2020 Senate votes are about the same thing: constitutionalist judges MORE (D-N.Y.) objected.

“This is unbelievable,” Collins could be overheard saying on the floor, before going to consult with GOP leadership.

Sen. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyMichigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 Top Democrats introduce resolution calling for mask mandate, testing program in Senate MORE (R-La.) then tried to speak, but Schumer similarly objected.


The tactics sparked vocal pushback from Republican senators who were on be floor.

Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonBarrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans This week: Coronavirus complicates Senate's Supreme Court fight MORE (R-Ark.), who was standing at the front of the chamber, could be overheard calling the maneuvers “bullshit.”

Schumer then tried to consent to speak, and Sen. Jim RischJames (Jim) Elroy RischWhy the US should rely more on strategy, not sanctions Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump Senators blast Turkey's move to convert Hagia Sophia back into a mosque MORE (R-Idaho), who was in his seat at the back of the chamber, yelled that he also objected.

When Schumer tried to argue that he still has control of the floor, Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseCornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' RNC chairwoman: Republicans should realize distancing themselves from Trump 'is hurting themselves in the long run' The Memo: Trump's second-term chances fade MORE (R-Neb.), who was presiding over the floor drama, replied: “No, you do not.”

McConnell and Schumer eventually reached an agreement to allow for senators to give speeches before a key procedural vote.

But the frustration continued to play out, as Collins used her speech to call Democrats blocking the bill, which they say was drafted only by Republicans, “disgraceful.”

Collins also walked over to directly confront Schumer while he was still on the floor, leaning toward him and pointing her finger at him.

“You are objecting to my speaking? This is appalling!” she said.

As Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw Progressive group: Feinstein must step down as top Democrat on Judiciary panel MORE (D-Ill.) was speaking, Risch tried at multiple points to ask a question.

“Time remains on the Republican side. They can use it as they wish,” Durbin replied. “I allowed the senator from South Dakota to finish his. I hope you’ll show that same respect.”