Susan Collins had senators in bipartisan meetings use talking stick

Story highlights

  • The bipartisan senators met to figure out a way to pass a funding bill
  • A senator forcefully delivered the stick and chipping Collins' glass elephant

Washington (CNN)During bipartisan talks between senators to discuss passing a funding bill to end the government shutdown, Sen. Susan Collins whose office was being used for the negotiations, figured out a civil way to create discussion.

Collins, R-Maine, introduced her fellow colleagues to using a talking stick during discussions, multiple senators told CNN.
Whoever was holding the stick was the only senator allowed to talk -- to prevent cross-talking.
    One Republican senator describing the incident told CNN the stick was successful, but on one occasion, one of the other senators was speaking while another asked a question and then turned with another quick, longer, louder question. The member who was holding the stick "forcefully delivered" the stick across the room -- but it missed its mark and caused damage to a shelf in Collins' office.
    A glass elephant sitting on a shelf owned by Collins became the casualty, with the stick chipping it a little bit.
    "There were no injuries, there were a couple close calls but everything worked out fine," another Republican senator said about the talking stick and the elephant incident.
    The source told CNN all the senators laughed about the incident, and after that, Collins replaced the stick with a small rubber ball.
    One of the senators involved in the event brought a little basketball as a joke, and the senators started using it.
    The senator who originally described the incident told CNN the entire incident was in good spirits.
    "That was the most entertaining meeting I'd ever been to," another GOP senator said.
    Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said that he heard about the talking stick as well and that one senator had jokingly complained to him about it.
    Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, joked with Durbin he was tired of "those meetings where they pass the ball around."
    This story has been updated to include additional information about the talking stick.