Reid: ‘Sit down and shut up’

The U.S. Senate’s first and only openly gay member was presiding over the august body August 1 when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took the unprecedented tact of telling his colleagues to “sit down and shut up.”

Senators, and to some extent members of the U.S. House, generally exercise decorum even when suggesting that members of the opposing side on any given matter are full of baloney. So, when Reid issued his “sit down and shut up” directive, it got noticed.

According to The Hill newspaper, which covers Capitol Hill and its movers and shakers quite closely, Reid made his remark in an effort to draw attention to a statement that moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine was about to make concerning an upcoming appropriations bill vote.

A video of the proceeding shows Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) rapping a gavel and stating, “The Senate is not in order. The Senate will be in order.”

Then, Reid can be heard saying, “Madame President, have the senators sit down and shut up. OK? It’s unfair. Senator Murray has something to say. Senator Collins has something –it’s just not polite.”

Baldwin smiled, rapped her gavel a few more times, and then recognized Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) for her remarks.

Leave a Reply