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GOP-led panel backs up leadership role in fracas

By Associated Press
Published On: Apr 08 2013 04:23:45 PM MDT
Montana House Legislature
HELENA, Mont. -

A Republican-led Senate rules committee is endorsing leadership actions in the fight over a Democratic attempt to kill GOP bills.
    
The Senate Rules Committee on Monday was looking into Friday's standoff over an absent senator.
    
Democrats publicly announced intentions to halt all business by invoking a parliamentary move that demands every member is present, in an effort to kill Republican proposals in danger of missing a procedural deadline.
    
Republican leaders just ignored the Democrats and went ahead with votes. Democrats complained the move broke Senate rules.
    
The rules committee said Senate President Jeff Essmann acted properly to preserve decorum.
    
Democrats have suggested the matter could end up in court.
    
And Republican leaders have promised investigations into whether Democrats intentionally misled the chamber during procedural maneuvering.