The subway trains hummed the Senate's office building. Elevator operators stood by the "Senator Only" elevators, waiting for riders.
Bleary-eyed senators arrived at the Capitol for an unusual session that became the longest vote in modern history. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York – Sens , But so, as the remaining senators – anxious to get home for the Fourth of July recess – could leave as soon as possible.
Accompanying Democratic People's Demand Friday, GOP leaders That meant convening before sunrise, allowing democrats to preside over the chamber (rather than Republicans), rather than the usual half-hour or more (1
At 5:01 am, the Senate Chaplain, Rev. Barry Black, led a prayer, and Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican of Wisconsin, who was the first presiding officer of the day, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
At 5:02 am, as high school-aged Senate pages working on the last day of their term on, the voting started. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, second-ranking Democratic Leader, cast the first vote and bolted.
Outside the Capitol, several senators arrived in clothes more suitable for flying home than working in the typically buttoned-down Capitol. Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, arrived in a green polo shirt. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican from West Virginia, wore red flats and a blazer. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican from Mississippi, pulled a suitcase into the Capitol with her. Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden What in such a hurry he jogged into the building, he could quickly vote and race to the airport.
Sen. Jim Risch, a Republican from Idaho who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN he was surprised at an amendment.
"All the time I've been here, I've never seen them run to a bill after it's passed there, "he remarked.
At 10:18 am Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, retires from his mother's funeral and vote for President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill.
At 10:33 am, Sen. Josh Hawley, a newly elected Republican from Missouri, presided over the quiet chamber. He surprised the clerks and parliamentarian, when suddenly he leaned forward to his microphone and started to declare the vote over.
"Are there any senators in the chamber who are wishing to vote or change their vote?" he boomed.
Reporters in the press gallery above him gasped, thinking there were still several hours to go before the gavel went down.
Hawley was joshing. He laughed and went back to his reading.
Just after 11 a.m., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, replaced Hawley as the presiding officer.
It's very rare for a member of the minority party to control the gavel. The Senate Historian's Office said: "The Four Democratic Presidential Necessities Show Up Over Time."
First was Sanders at 12:35 p.m.
Just after 2:00 p.m., Harris and Gillibrand arrived together.
Bennet was the last when he voted at 3:10 p.m.
Harris, who declared many pundits the winner of the debate, beamed as they approached on the floor by several pages. They smiled and shook their hands, treating them like sudden rock star.
As they left the Capitol, they declined to answer reporters' questions.
"I really can not." said. "I'm sorry."
At 3:10 p.m. the vote was called. The vote lasted 10 hours and eight minutes, almost doubling the length of the 2009 vote.
Democrats got 50 votes for their amendment, but it needed 60 to pass. Forty Republicans voted no.