In an effort to stifle the circulation of information surrounding Republican goings-ons, reporters have been informed by the Senate Rules Committee that they are no longer allowed to conduct interviews with Senators in the hallway of the Capitol.


These spontaneous interviews have long been an effective way of garnering the individual opinions and beliefs of Senators and Congressman from inquiring reporters. Through this impromptu questioning, the American public can get an idea of what their elected officials are doing and thinking, as well as keeping their finger on the pulse of the legislature as a whole. But the White House wants that to come to an end.

It’s no secret why; as the administration becomes increasingly corrupt, and as Republican lawmakers continue to escalate their level of trickery and deception, it seems easiest to just cut communication entirely.

Whether the issue be Russian corruption or a top secret healthcare bill with no Democratic input, Republican leadership would much rather they be left to their own devices.

That means no more off-the-cuff comments from Senators emerging from hearings, nor any badgering from a well-meaning press wanting to know, for example, where the hell the healthcare bill is and what it may contain.

Before this, Senators could simply refuse to field any questions from the press, or as they often did, could literally sneak out of a back door or window to avoid the inquiring press. They were called cowards (because they are), but they had every right to say “no comment.” Now, we can’t know whether they have a comment or not; we are in the dark.

The new rules are incredibly restrictive, and require that a reporter obtain prior permission granted from whichever Senator one is seeking an interview with, as well as permission from the Rules Committee of the Senate. Simply, interviewing Senators on the fly is now impossible.

Some have already begun speaking out against the new rules, including Senators Chris Murphy and Amy Klobuchar.


Hunt encourages those who do not support increased secrecy in the Capitol and further restrictions on press access to call and say so.

The anti-press environment inspired by President Trump gave way to this sort of restrictive, anti-Democratic rule change. Seeing these crack-downs on the free press makes one wonder – what could be next?

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at