Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Tuesday that the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration had not revoked the ability of television reporters to interview senators on camera in the Capitol Hill complex.
“The Rules Committee has made no changes to the existing rules governing press coverage on Senate side of the Capitol complex,” Shelby said in a statement. “The Committee has been working with the various galleries to ensure compliance with existing rules in an effort to help provide a safe environment for Members of Congress, the press corps, staff and constituents as they travel from Senate office to the Capitol. Once again, no additional restrictions have been put in place by the Rules Committee.”
Earlier Tuesday, reporters for multiple media outlets reported on Twitter that the Senate Rules Committee had announced they would no longer be able to interview senators on camera. If they wanted to do so, they would need prior approval from the committee.
Journalists are allowed in nearly all areas of the Capitol complex and regularly approach and question senators and representatives as they travel to hearings, meetings and to the chamber floors for debates and votes. As Congress investigates alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and the Senate crafts its Obamacare replacement bill, revoking the ability to interview senators on camera would inhibit press access traditionally allowed on the Hill.
Ranking Rules Committee member Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., objected to any change regarding press access at the Capitol.