Taking Delight in the Senate Rules

I’ve always been fascinated by the arcane rules of the Senate. Here is one worth pondering:

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the rules, when the Senate is in session, no committee of the Senate or any subcommittee thereof may meet, without special leave, after the conclusion of the first two hours after the meeting of the Senate commenced and in no case after two o’clock postmeridian unless consent therefor has been obtained from the majority leader and the minority leader (or in the event of the absence of either of such leaders, from his designee). The prohibition contained in the preceding sentence shall not apply to the Committee on Appropriations or the Committee on the Budget.

Basically, this means that Senator Schumer could withhold his consent and force Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee to end each day two hours after the Senate convenes (or at 2PM), whichever comes first.

What is the purpose of the rule? I guess it was supposed to ensure broad attendance on the floor after a certain time of day if necessary. In practice, though, consent for ongoing committee meetings is almost always given.

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