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Overheard: Hurry Up, Chris Murphy

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

After midnight Friday, a live microphone captured one Senate clerk knocking Sen. Christopher S. Murphy’s sleepy pace.  

“Yeah, uh, he better get his ass here, before, they’ve already lost one vote because he’s not here,” said the clerk, who may not have realized C-SPAN was capturing his 1 a.m. commentary. Murphy, 42, the third-youngest lawmaker in the chamber, missed the cloture vote on the massive budget and debt ceiling measure  that kept senators at the Capitol into the wee hours. Murphy made it to the floor for two subsequent votes on the measure, recorded at 2:32 a.m. and 2:43 a.m.  

Asked about the absence, Murphy’s office said it was unintentional.  

“He was delayed getting to the vote from his house,” according to a spokesperson, who noted the boss was present for final passage.  

Murphy cheered the end of crunch-time deadlines in a statement about the fiscal package issued around 9 a.m.  

“They say not to let the urgent crowd out the important, but that’s exactly what Congress has done in recent years,” Murphy said. “We spend way too much time panicking in the face of crises we inflict on ourselves. This budget deal means we can spend less time worried about shutdowns and more time working to improve the lives of the people we serve.”  

Murphy urged Congress to “keep its eyes on the ball” and use the “breathing room” provided by the budget deal to tackle other big issues, such as mental health and long-term transportation funding.


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