To help prevent cross talking, senators in the meeting used a stick, and later a ball, to help determine who had the floor. Manchin drew laughter from his colleagues as they tried to figure out speaking order during an impromptu press conference, saying they could “pass the ball around.”
When the group first met on Friday, there were 17 senators trying to come up with a way to prevent the closure. That number swelled to 25 on Sunday afternoon as the shutdown ground through the weekend.
“That is a powerful voting bloc in the Senate and it includes Republican members as well as Democrats,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said.