Members of the Capitol Hill press corps on Tuesday morning were verbally informed that reporters would no longer be granted access to film interviews with the United States senators, unless they obtain permission from the Senate rules committee as well as the senator whom reporters seek to interview.
However, by afternoon, a spokesperson for the Senate rules committee clarified that the rules for journalists had returned to the status quo from the past, as reported by The Guardian.
The notion was communicated hours before a major Senate hearing involving attorney general Jeff Sessions, as the Senate inched closer to achieving a consensus on its healthcare reform bill.
Following the notification, reporters and leaders took to Twitter to express their dissent.
Television reporters stationed at Capitol Hill were verbally notified of the new restrictions and the Senate rules committee's need to grant permission to them.
In a statement, Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, insisted this was simply an attempt to enforce existing policy.
"The rules committee has made no changes to the existing rules governing press coverage on the Senate side of the Capitol complex. 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 offices to the Capitol. Once again, no additional restrictions have been put in place by the rules committee," said Shelby.
The move comes against the backdrop of a warning that had been issues to journalists and reporters of causing congestion in corridors and forcing a response from senators on the Trump-Russia investigation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)