By Mira Soni
Reporters and representatives alike were launched into chaos on Tuesday when Senate staffers told broadcast reporters they were no longer allowed to conduct television interviews with Senators in the hallways of the Capitol and Senate buildings.
The information was first reported by NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt, who posted about it via Twitter. Several other reporters then repeated the information on their own Twitter accounts, saying that they had been told they were not allowed to film senators in the hallways.
Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, was quick to correct the error. In a statement released Tuesday, Shelby announced that no changes had been made to the existing rules, and interviews could still be conducted in the hallways.
Both Democratic and Republican senators expressed their concerns over the potential restrictions on press freedom. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) tweeted that it was a “bad idea”, while Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement that it was a Republican attempt to keep their new health care bill in the dark.