When McConnell concluded, Warren said she was surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate. She asked to continue her remarks but McConnell objected.
The debate appeared to center, in part, on whether the rule allowed exemptions for quoted remarks, Senator Warren had been reading directly from the letter from Mrs. King to demean a sitting senator.
In a party-line vote, 49 to 43, senators upheld Daines’s decision, forcing Warren into silence, at least on the Senate floor, until the showdown over Sessions’ nomination was complete.
Immediately, Democrats took up Senator Warren’s cause, urging on social media for Republicans to “#LetLizSpeak,” reports the New York Times.
Senator Warren said on Twitter that Senator McConnell had silenced Mrs. King’s voice on the Senate floor, to say nothing of millions who are afraid and appalled by what’s happening in the US.
Within hours of being shut down on the Senate floor, Warren read the letter from Mrs. King on Facebook, attracting more than two million views, an audience she would have been unlikely to match on C-Span if she had been permitted to continue speaking in the chamber.
Democrats argued that McConnell was enforcing the rule selectively, citing examples of Republicans appearing to test the boundaries of Rule XIX.