Hammond: Capitol Hill GOP must challenge Dems with roll call votes

The Kansas City, Mo., native credited with inventing the Senate parliamentary tactics that empowered Republicans to block liberal legislation and usher in a modern conservatism on Capitol Hill spoke to The Cloakroom.

“I came to Washington out of law school in 1975,” said Michael B. Hammond, who now works at the Washington-based Gun Owners of America as their legislative counsel.

“I came to work for one James L. Buckley—I’d gone to law school in Greenwich Village in New York City, and I went to work for my senator,” he said. ”Buckley was elected to the Senate in 1970 on the Conservative Party ticket, but he caucused with the Republicans. He was defeated in 1976 by Democrat Daniel Patrick Monahan.

The legend goes that Hammond went to Washington without an appointment and when he crossed paths with Buckley on the Capitol steps said, “I want to work for you—for free.”

The senator told him the price was right.

Within a few months, Hammond had memorized the Senate rules and was out-arguing the chamber parliamentarian.

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