A restorative justice session has healed the wounds left by the DeVos confirmation battle, according to a joint statement written by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the ranking members of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee.
The closed-door meeting took place Friday, as the warm afternoon light filled the committee hearing room, inoculating the atmosphere with a sense of peace.
Congressional staffers reported that Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) initiated the session using a rarely-used committee rule on community health. All committee members were present, and special guest Dawn Jyoti, a guidance counselor from nearby Swanson Middle School, facilitated, according to committee aides in attendance.
“They began with an icebreaker called ‘A Big Wind Blows,’ which, I assure you, was not intended as a comment on anyone’s verbosity,” said one aide. Senators also held a candle-lighting ceremony, and participated in a rose-bud-thorn reflection activity. When pressed for more details, the aide stated, “I am not comfortable sharing more about what was said. People got really personal really fast. I do not want to violate the sanctity of their experience.” The aide did note that the...