WASHINGTON — If you had to choose between drinking only milk or water, for an entire day, which would you choose? For Senators presiding over President Donald Trump's impeachment hearing, those are the only beverage options available.
According to longstanding Senate rules, food and drink are not allowed on the Senate floor. Pages are on hand to serve the legislators water, and they can choose still or sparkling.
The allowance of milk dates back to 1966. A Congressional Record from Jan. 24, 1966 shows that there "is nothing in the rules to prohibit [a] Senator from requesting a glass of milk."
No specification has been made to establish whether nondairy milk is allowed, most likely because options like almond milk were not as popular when these rules were put in place.
Considering lawmakers, lawyers, congressional aids and assistants spend hours at these trials, it makes one wonder why a Diet Coke, a cup of coffee or a variety of other great beverage options are forbidden?
While milk and water may be the only beverages on the Senate floor, pieces of candy for a Senator with a sweet tooth may be allowed, for some.
According to the U.S. Senate's website, there is a "Candy Desk" that has been around since 1965 when Sen. George Murphy of California originated the practice of keeping a supply of candy in his desk for the enjoyment of fellow senators. The tradition is still practiced.
The "decorum guidelines," which included the longstanding milk and water rule, also said Senators will not be permitted to use iPhones and must stay quiet during Donald Trump's Impeachment trial.
The first day of the Senate impeachment trial started on Tuesday.