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A Senator Went to the Wrong Hearing and Didn't Even Realize It Until He Had Already Asked a Question


"Well, that would explain why I didn't know anything about this letter."

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and other senators walk to the floor for a vote to end debate on the Democrats' plan to restore lower interest rates on student loans one week after Congress' inaction caused those rates to double, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 10, 2013. The White House and most Senate Democrats favored restoring interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans to 3.4 percent for another year, but lawmakers failed to muster the necessary 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) walked into a Senate committee hearing on Thursday and addressed a witness with some very specific budget-related questions.

But there was a slight problem: Coats was in the wrong hearing.

The senator was originally scheduled to question Principal Deputy Defense Undersecretary Mike McCord about the defense budget. Instead, he ended up pressing Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen for answers.

“I just want to follow up on a parochial question, if you don't mind, and that is the Indiana delegation sent to the Pentagon, Undersecretary Hale, a letter dated March 24th, asking some questions about the AMFO initiative,” Coats said.

“That's the Army financial management optimization program. Number one, I want to commend you because, unprecedented in my career, we received a letter back on March 26th, of the same year. So I'm very impressed with that. A word of thanks there in terms of response,” he added.

Coats apparently didn’t realize his mistake until an aide passed him a note informing him of the mix-up, according to Gawker.

"Well, that would explain why I didn't know anything about this letter," Cohen joked to the committee.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

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