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Congressman uses old auctioneer skills to drown out protester during hearing

Congressman uses old auctioneer skills to drown out protester during hearing
Posted at 3:28 PM, Sep 05, 2018

As a woman interrupted a congressional hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Billy Long, a Missouri Republican who's a former auctioneer, took the microphone to talk over her in characteristic auctioneer style.

The moment came at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, when far-right activist Laura Loomer began speaking up in the audience. Loomer ignored calls for order and harangued Dorsey, accusing him of political bias in running the social media site.

As she continued, Long started listing off imaginary bids, eventually drowning out what she was saying.

Capitol Police were called to escort her out, and Long finished to applause after she left the hearing room.

Long's House biography lists him as a former longtime member of the National Auctioneers Association and the Missouri Professional Auctioneers' Association.

The brief episode was one of several strange moments Wednesday on Capitol Hill, coming just hours after a contentious exchange between Florida's GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and prominent right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

It was also one of many interruptions to take place in a committee room this week, with the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh marked by frequent interruptions from protesters.

Capitol Police said on Tuesday that they had arrested 70 people for demonstrations related to the first day of the Kavanaugh proceedings.