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Letter of Protest

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Hugh S. Merchant

United States Senator, South Carolina

Senate Minority Leader

Mr. President pro tempore,


I am writing to express my deep disappointment and protest at your recent actions in the debate on the Hawaiian Homeownership Opportunity Act of 2017, in which you, in a partisan manner unbecoming of the office of President pro tempore of the Senate, abused your authority to harass members of my minority caucus. In the first instance, you accused the Senator from New Mexico, Diego Zamora, of breaching decorum in a speech in which he stated nothing more than his opinion of the Democratic majority. When I raised a point of inquiry to ask how his speech had, in any way, breached decorum, you ignored my inquiry. Then, when the Senator protested and sought answers, you issued him with a warning, alongside another Senator who voiced his support of the Senator's protest.


The duty of the President pro tempore is to act as an impartial moderator in debate, calling out Senators when they have violated rules (not merely insulted partisan leanings) and ensuring that debate is conducted fairly, that all sides, opinions, and leanings are heard, and that rules and procedures are enforced. Your conduct in office has not reflected this duty.


I therefore regrettably must ask you to reconsider your position as President pro tempore and contemplate whether you are, in fact, the best man for the job. I would formally demand that you issue an apology to both the Senators from Wyoming and New Mexico for your unstatesmanlike conduct and revoke your warning issued earlier in debate. If you are unable to demonstrate impartiality while in the Chair, my caucus will have no choice but to begin taking action to protect our rights as a minority in the chamber and seek your removal from the Chair. 


Yours sincerely,


U.S. Senator, South Carolina

Senate Minority Leader

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                                                                                                                                                 Osiris Storm

                                                                       United States Senator,New York

                                                                                                Vice Chair of the Democratic Party

                                                                                                     President Pro Tempore


Dear Senate Minority Leader Merchant,


I appreciate your letter of protest. As President Pro Tempore I do believe it is important that any sitting member of this senate voice their frustrations. As President Pro Tempore, I operate under the guidelines and rules thin at previous President Pro Tempore's use. I give no special privileges, along with not taking any orders from both the majority and minority parties of the senate in order to maintain an atmosphere  of neutrality and care.


As I am extremely happy that you are well versed in the duties of the President Pro Tempore, I will also point out  that the President Pro Tempore has the final say on all decorum presiding, unless you would like to challenge it and bring it up to a vote in the Senate and let our fellow colleagues decide. i want to do nothing more than to ensure that your rights and powers as a member of this Senate is protected and realized.


I will reiterate once again that I do not take orders from neither parties of this Senate, and although we may disagree, we must remember to maintain a manner of professionalism which exemplifies our prestigious and historic legislative body. 


I thank you for your letter and I hope we can move forward united as one Senate body.


E Pluribis Unum



Osiris Storm

US Senator, New York

Vice of the Democratic Party

President Pro Tempore

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