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Ranking Democrat on Senate Rules Committee urges majority to 'allow reporting in the Capitol to proceed as usual'

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee, called on her committee Tuesday to drop its new rule barring reporters from taping interviews in the Capitol without prior permission. Klobuchar urged the majority to allow reporting "to proceed as usual":

The rule, which was first reported Tuesday on Twitter, marks a major departure from the usual order of business, as reporters have long staked out the halls of the Capitol to get comments from senators. Now, reporters will be required to get permission from both the Senate Rules Committee and the senator before taping any interview.

Klobuchar wasn't the only Democratic senator to weigh in. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) argued that senators "shouldn't need to hide" and "the people have a right to know what we are doing." Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) suggested this was "not the right moment to lower the secrecy veil on Congress," while Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) quipped that maybe Republicans are "worried" reporters will "catch the group of guys" crafting the GOP-backed American Health Care Act in a "back room somewhere."

Republicans also expressed concerns about the rule, with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) noting that "an open and transparent government is one that allows for freedom of the press."