Capitol Hill staff blocked reporters from reporting on demonstrators who were protesting the Senate’s vote to proceed to debate on an as-yet-unknown Republican health care measure. In at least one case, a journalist said they forced him to delete his video of the protesters.
As voting began on the measure, dozens of protesters yelled “kill the bill” and “shame” from the Senate gallery. The demonstrators were removed from the gallery and placed under arrest by Capitol Police:
But reporters who attempted to report on the scene were denied access on the grounds that they were observing a “crime scene”:
Reporters were told they could not take photos and had to delete any they had taken:
And in at least one case, a journalist says he was forced to delete a video he had recorded:
In recent weeks, Republicans have sought to curtail press access on Capitol Hill. At one point, the Senate rules committee said it would begin enforcing a rule banning reporters from filming interviews with senators unless they had been granted permission ahead of time, according to journalists. Following an uproar, Republicans backed off.