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Packwood Arrested, Carried to Senate in Filibuster Showdown

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By Helen Dewar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 24, 1988; 12:00 AM

Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) was carried feet first into the Senate chamber by Capitol Police early today as Democrats ordered the arrest of absent senators in a dramatic filibuster showdown over a Democratic bill on spending in senatorial campaigns.

Packwood's arrest came after Democrats forced filibustering Republicans to hold the Senate floor in nonstop session through the night in an attempt to wear down their opposition to the bill.

But as midnight approached, Republicans called the Democrats' bluff by ordering a series of quorum calls and then vanishing, leaving only Minority Whip Alan K. Simpson (Wyo.) to hold the floor. Democrats were unable to muster a quorum on their own and, in a highly unusual move, voted to have the sergeant at arms arrest absent senators in a move to keep the Senate in session until a quorum of at least 51 senators could be obtained.

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