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 McConnellBitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Trump blasts Obama speech for Biden as 'fake' after Obama hits Trump's tax payments White House hoping for COVID-19 relief deal 'within weeks': spokeswoman 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 CollinsThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - One week out, where the Trump, Biden race stands The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Justice Barrett joins court; one week until Election Day House Judiciary Republicans mockingly tweet 'Happy Birthday' to Hillary Clinton after Barrett confirmation MORE (R-Maine) tried to get permission to speak, Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' 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 CassidyTwo Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 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 CottonCotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans 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 SasseTrump looks to shore up support in Nebraska GOP Senate confirms Trump Supreme Court pick to succeed Ginsburg President Trump: To know him is to 'No' him 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 DurbinDemocrats warn GOP will regret Barrett confirmation Democrats brace for nail-biting finish to Senate battle Democratic Senate emerges as possible hurdle for progressives  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.”