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Congressman drowns out protester with auction call in Twitter hearing

Republican Rep. Billy Long from Missouri took an unconventional approach when an alt-right protester interrupted a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing about Twitter Wednesday: He drowned her out with an auction call. 

Long, a professional auctioneer before joining Congress, gave the call in a booming voice when activist Laura Loomer stood up to accuse Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who was testifying, of trying to tilt the midterm elections in favor of Democrats. Loomer refused to stop interrupting, so Long drew upon his auctioneering skills until Loomer was eventually escorted out of the hearing room. 

Long's approach elicited laughs from the audience.

"Somehow I think our auctioneer-in-residence is going to get tweeted about today," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon. 

Long was the owner of Billy Long Auctions for decades before joining Congress. 

Wednesday's hearing was called because some conservatives are concerned Twitter is minimizing the influence of, or blocking, conservatives on Twitter. Dorsey denied that is the case and defended his company during hours of questioning.

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.