Senators used a ‘talking stick’ during shutdown negotiations


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J. Scott Applewhite | AP

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who moderated bipartisan negotiations in her workplace to interrupt the federal government shutdown stalemate, describes the facility of the centrists and her efforts to maintain the talks civil, throughout a TV information interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Collins holds a ceremonial “speaking stick,” a present from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., which was handed from senator to senator; solely the senator in possession of the “speaking stick” may converse as others have been listened.

Political pundits will debate the winners and losers of the three-day authorities shutdown, however a transparent frontrunner for the unsung hero award has emerged: Sen. Susan Collins’s “speaking stick.”

Republican and Democratic senators reportedly huddled within the workplace of the Maine Republican senator, who hosted negotiations to interrupt the shutdown stalemate. Collins, in an try to maintain issues civil, borrowed from the kindergarten classroom playbook and got here up with the technique of utilizing a “speaking stick,” reviews CNN.

Solely the senator in possession of the “speaking stick” may converse, and his or her colleagues must pay attention till it was their flip with the “ceremonial Native American stick,” as one senator described it to Politico. It was reportedly a present from Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).

“I wanted order,” Collins advised the New York Instances.

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And that “speaking stick” shtick appeared to be going fairly nicely — that’s, till one senator reportedly flung it towards one other, and almost took out Collins’s workplace decor. Politico reviews:

At one level, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee forcefully tossed the stick towards Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia after Warner interrupted him, almost shattering a glass elephant belonging to Collins, in response to two individuals briefed on the throw.

The “speaking stick” reportedly chipped the glass elephant after Warner missed Alexander’s toss. “There have been no accidents, there have been a pair shut calls, however all the things labored out nice,” a Republican senator advised CNN.

Collins reportedly determined to modify to a ball after the dustup, presumably assuming it will be rather less harmful. The following day, “Senator Alexander confirmed up with a basketball as a result of it might be safer than a stick,” an aide to Alexander advised Vox.

Collins later hailed “the Widespread Sense Coalition” of 25 bipartisan lawmakers who helped dealer the compromise to reopen the federal government. Whether or not the “speaking stick” had something to do with their success is simply hypothesis. However one GOP lawmaker did inform CNN that it was “essentially the most entertaining assembly I’ve ever been to.”

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