Republican Rep. Peter King of New York says he wants to hold investigations into the “radicalization” of American Muslims in his new position as chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, but Rep. Keith Ellison said on Monday that targeting one community would hamper homeland security efforts.
Franken cut off Lieberman on Reid’s say-so, but it wasn’t personal
Franken told Minnesota Public Radio that Majority Leader Harry Reid had instructed him and others taking their turns at presiding over the Senate on Thursday to hold speakers to 10 minutes:
I was presiding over the Senate and when you’re presiding you really have no choice on what to do. The Leader, the Majority Leader, is the leader of the Senate, and he gave me — gave all of us today who were presiding — instructions that no one was to speak over 10 minutes, on either side of the aisle. …
Usually you’re allowed to do this, but just today we were told not to let it happen because there’s been some attempt to string out the debate. So I really just had no choice, and Joe knew what I was doing. Joe was surprised, but later figured out what I was doing. It was just fine. …
Joe was actually speaking on an amendment to the bill that I am totally in favor of. I agreed with every word he said for the entire 10 minutes [video]. I think he probably had only, like, 30 seconds left, and I just was kind of– he didn’t take it personally at all.
Video clips of the exchange suggested Franken was sticking it to Lieberman in retribution for the Connecticut independent exploiting his swing-vote status on the pending health-care reform bill.
It seemed by his later griping that Sen. John McCain saw it that way — perhaps in light of Franken’s Senate-floor take-down of Republican John Thune on the same issue earlier in the week.
But with Franken’s explanation, Thursday’s incident appears to fall into the category of much-ado-about-something-procedural, as happened last July when U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann appeared to advance the birther cause by objecting to a resolution that recognized Hawaii as President Obama’s birthplace.