Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Thursday forced a vote to push his asylum law bill out of the panel, blaming Democrats for not showing up for a markup last week.
After Graham criticized panel Democrats for their absence, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., hit back, saying he missed last week's session because he was at a family member's funeral.
The drama unfolded as Graham proceeded with his asylum bill, saying he was bypassing committee rules to advance it and chiding some of his colleagues for not showing last week, NBC News reported.
"I'm responding to what you did last week," he said, NBC News reported. "Last week, you chose not to show up, so that I couldn't proceed with the bill that I've been trying to work on for about two or three months. What am I supposed to do?"
Leahy replied the panel was "supposed to be the Senate Judiciary Committee, not the Donald Trump committee" and Graham was "throwing out all the rules."
Graham, in an extended response, hit back at Leahy, saying "you've been here a long time, I would never have done this to you," the news outlet reported.
That is when Leahy explained why he could not attend last week "because a member of my family was being buried that day, so I couldn't be there."
Graham apologized, but noted he "was told nobody is going to come for the express purpose that I could not mark this bill up," NBC News reported.
The panel then voted to advance the bill.
The measure would require asylum seekers to first file applications in Central America and Mexico before being allowed entry into the United States and would make changes to how long migrant families and unaccompanied children are detained.
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