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The Senate will momentarily close so a committee hearing criticizing the Bush administration’s environmental policies can proceed.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will close down the chamber to clear the way for the Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, “Bush Administration Environmental Record at Department of Interior and Environmental Protection Agency.”

Environment and Public Works ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said he is objecting to the hearing because the panel’s chairman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), will not allow a hearing on the consequences of ethanol policy on food prices and other issues.

Senate rules prevent committee hearings from occurring two hours after the chamber opens unless lawmakers agree. Reid can get around that rule by closing and then reopening the Senate.

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