sen. warren

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Warren began reading from a letter Scott King wrote in 1986 objecting to President Reagan’s ultimately unsuccessful nomination of then-U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions to a federal district court seat.

Now-Sen. Sessions, R-Ala., is President Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general. Warren was speaking in the debate leading up to Sessions’ likely confirmation by the Senate Wednesday.

Republicans Vote To Silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren In Confirmation Debate

Photo: Pete Marovic/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was silenced by Sen. Mitch McConnell when she attempted to quote an excerpt from a letter written by Coretta Scott King in regard to Sen. Jeff Sessions (Trump’s attorney general nominee). Sessions is well-known for his bigotry and rampant disregard for the Black community–as discussed in Coretta Scott King’s letter.

This is history repeating itself. This cannot stand. Let it be heard.


Scott Pruitt confirmed as EPA administrator

  • Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt will be the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency, after the Senate confirmed his nomination on Friday by a 52-46 vote.
  • Pruitt was confirmed despite protests from Democrats, who demanded his confirmation be delayed after a judge on Thursday issued an order to force Pruitt to release thousands of documents that show his communications with the oil industry. Read more (2/17/17 1:18 PM)

Warren scorched Trump’s EPA pick Scott Pruitt

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the emails could show “corruption” with “big oil,” and said his confirmation should be delayed until the documents could be reviewed.
  • In a nearly hour-long speech on the Senate floor late Thursday, Warren blasted Pruitt, attacking Republican Senators’ plans to quickly confirm him as head of the EPA. Read more (2/17/17 12:15 PM)

Elizabeth Warren on the one good thing that came of her being silenced

Jeff Sessions was confirmed as US attorney general on February 8 — but not without a fight.

In an incident on the Senate floor that quickly became notorious, the Senate used an arcane rule to bar Sen. Elizabeth Warren from speaking further against Sessions as she read a letter by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr.

King wrote the letter in 1986, in opposition to Sessions’s then-nomination for a federal judgeship on the grounds that he regularly “used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.” Later in the evening, Warren’s male colleague Sen. Jeff Merkley read portions of the same letter himself, without incident.

Warren’s subsequent reading of the letter on Facebook Live has since been viewed more than 6 million times, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reasoning for invoking a technicality — “she was warned, she was given an explanation; nevertheless, she persisted” — has since been repurposed as a feminist rallying cry. Many people responded angrily and viscerally to the way Warren was silenced but Merkley was not. Not only did the hashtag #ShePersisted fly around social media, it was also rapidly emblazoned on mugs, T-shirts, and anything else Etsy’s ever dreamed of, and put up for sale online.

After the Sessions vote, Daily Show host Trevor Noah tried to ask Warren why her male colleague got to read the letter after she was barred from speaking, and whether she and Mitch McConnell have since realized “what a solid he’s done you.”

But Warren was single-mindedly passionate about one thing: “Millions of people are now reading Coretta Scott King’s letter.”

A day after Senate Republicans invoked a conduct rule to end Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s speech against the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general, a 1986 letter from Coretta Scott King urging the Senate to reject Sessions’ nomination as a federal judge is gaining new prominence.

Warren was reading aloud from the letter by King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., when she was interrupted by the presiding chair of the Senate, who warned her of breaking Rule 19, which forbids members from imputing to a colleague “any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

The warning mentioned Warren’s earlier quote of Sen. Edward Kennedy, who had called Sessions, then a U.S. attorney, a disgrace. But it was King’s letter that — more than 10 minutes after Warren finished reading it aloud Tuesday night — prompted Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call her out of order. That resulted in Warren being silenced on the Senate floor.

In his objection, McConnell cited King’s accusation that Sessions had used “the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

Read Coretta Scott King’s Letter That Got Sen. Elizabeth Warren Silenced

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images


Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren named to Senate Democratic leadership team

Senate Democrats voted on Tuesday to elect New York Sen. Chuck Schumer as their next minority leader, replacing outgoing Sen. Harry Reid who is retiring at the end of his term. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will be part of the minority leadership. This news comes after Sanders supporters protested in Chuck Schumer’s office.
Warren cut off during Sessions debate after criticism
By Ted Barrett, CNN

In a stunning moment on the Senate floor, Sen. Elizabeth Warren clashed with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday night after McConnell determined the Massachusetts Democrat had violated a Senate rule against impugning another senator.

In an extremely rare rebuke, she was instructed by the presiding officer to take her seat.

Tuesday night’s rule means Warren will be barred from speaking on the floor until Sessions’ debate ends, McConnell’s office confirmed. The debate is expected to conclude Wednesday night.

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The emotional exchange occurred during debate on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, to be attorney general. Warren was reading from a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King, the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, had written to Sen. Ted Kennedy critical of Sessions who was then a nominee to be a federal judge.

“The senator is reminded that it is a violation of Rule 19 of the standing rules of the Senate to impugn another senator or senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator,” said Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, who was presiding over the Senate at the time.

“I don’t think I quite understand,” responded a surprised Warren. “I’m simply reading what she wrote about what the nomination of Sessions to be a federal court judge meant and what it would mean in history for her.”

“You stated that a sitting senator is a disgrace to the Department of Justice,” said Daines, explaining what Warren had done to violate the rule.

About 20 minutes later, with Warren continuing to speak out critically of Sessions, McConnell went to the floor and told Warren she was in violation of the rule. At that point, Warren asked for a roll call vote on her appeal of the decision but it was defeated.

Warren is now barred from speaking on the floor for the remainder of the debate on Session’s nomination, McConnell’s office said. The debate is expected to wrap up about 7 p.m. ET Wednesday when a final confirmation vote is planned.

Democrats complained that Republicans were carrying out selective enforcement of Rule 19, arguing passed controversial comments by Republicans had been overlooked by GOP leaders. They also said their hands are tied when it comes to Sessions because they will have no way to express on the floor why they oppose his nomination if doing so would violate Rule 19.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s furious tweetstorm on Michael Flynn

Top Republican investigators on Capitol Hill say they don’t have plans to investigate Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, or his conversations with President Donald Trump — and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is furious, previewing an attack line Democrats are likely to deploy frequently in the days to come.

“Congress must pull its head out of the sand and launch a real, bipartisan, transparent inquiry into Russia. Our natl security is at stake,” Warren wrote Tuesday in a series of condemning tweets aimed at Trump’s administration after Flynn resigned from his post as national security adviser late Monday night.

Flynn stepped down after a series of leaks revealed he had lied to top White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, about the extent of his conversations with a Russian envoy prior to Trump’s inauguration.

Warren raised the concerns many in Washington have long had about Flynn’s role in the White House and his alleged close ties to Russian officials.
Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren Win Democratic Senate Leadership Posts
New Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also added some conservative members to leadership.

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will both have seats at the Senate Democratic leadership table this upcoming session, after party elections put them in new positions of power.

Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, was named to a new “Chair of Outreach” position. Warren, who was already in leadership, was elevated to a vice-chair title.

Calling the entire crew leadership is a stretch, however, as the group includes 10 members and there are 48 total Democratic senators. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was elected on Wednesday to be the new Senate minority leader, said he decided to expand the leadership by three additional spots because doing so “shows we can unite the disparate factions of our party and our country. … The team is ideologically and geographically diverse.”

(Continue Reading)

If Betsy DeVos is confirmed as the Secretary of Education, we have signed a death sentence for an entire generation of children. As if Donald Trump’s other picks were not dangerous enough, this one has the opportunity and mindset to completely dismantle public education. Education is the core of any society, it is how we advance, it is how we survive. The decisions we, as adults, make in regards to the education of our children, will have lasting effects on our nation and the world as a whole. Our education system is deeply flawed and our country is already falling behind. This woman has zero experience with public schools, she has zero experience with financial aid, she knows nothing about the average American student’s struggle and her ignorance in these fields not only disqualify her from holding this vital position, but it makes her nomination and potential confirmation dangerous. We must all demand better, not for ourselves, but for our children. I cannot express this enough.

Thank you to Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Tim Kane, Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Chris Murphy, and others, for taking on Mrs. DeVos and standing up for the students of this nation.

I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate.
—  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was rebuked by the Senate for quoting Coretta Scott King’s words criticizing Senator Jeff Sessions when he was considered for a federal judgeship in 1984. Sessions is now being considered for Attorney General.

This is a letter from Coretta Scott King, wife of MLK Jr., written 30 years ago, urging the Senate to reject the nomination of Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship. Yesterday, Sen. Warren tried to read this same letter during the debate on whether to make Sessions the next Attorney General and the Senate Republicans voted to rebuke Warren and formally silence her. 

Sessions’ vote is tonight. His nomination is nothing short of terrifying and we must stand behind those who are working to block him. Warren, and Mrs. King, will not be silenced. 

Senate confirms Sessions as attorney general


The Senate on Wednesday voted to install Sen. Jeff Sessions as the nation’s next attorney general, ending a confirmation battle that plunged the chamber into bitter acrimony and shattered all notions of senatorial courtesy.

The narrow confirmation of the Alabama Republican as head of the Justice Department, finalized with a 52-47 vote Wednesday evening, was never in doubt as Republicans stuck together to elevate their colleague to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.

But the final hours of the confirmation fight over Sessions and his fitness to serve as attorney general came to a head over the extremely rare and dramatic rebuke of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whom Republican senators deemed had violated Senate rules forbidding one member from impugning another.

“Frankly, Jeff Sessions is a very fine person, and they all admit that,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who has been incensed for weeks over how Democrats have fought the nomination, said Wednesday. “I guess because he’s from Alabama, they think every white male is a racist, or at least might be. So that’s wrong. I just think that’s wrong, it’s obnoxious and it’s something that we ought all decry.”

Read more here

02/07/2017: In a very rare rebuke, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is silenced by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for reading the words of Coretta Scott King while speaking out against the civil rights record of Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions.

Elizabeth Warren’s epic takedowns

She did it again. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has often energized her liberal base with her take-no-prisoners attitude, found herself in a familiar position on the Senate floor Tuesday: fighting back against congressional Republicans. Tuesday night was one of many instances Warren went toe-to-toe with the powerful. Here are some of her best takedowns, starting with last night’s confrontation:

Opposing Jeff Sessions

While debating the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Warren read a scathing 1986 letter from civil rights icon Coretta Scott King opposing Sessions as a potential federal judge. In the letter, King called Sessions’ attempts to intimidate elderly black voters “reprehensible.” Warren read until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell silenced her for “impugning” Sessions’ motives.

While Warren was forced to take her seat, she did not go quietly. “I am surprised the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate,” she said before the Senate ruled against her. Warren read the entire letter on Facebook live outside the Senate, and the hashtag #LetLizSpeak immediately spread on Twitter. McConnell inadvertently did Democrats a favor by interrupting, galvanizing Warren’s supporters and letting the letter dominate headlines before Sessions’ confirmation vote, especially now that fellow Democratic senators are picking up where Warren left off.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)