Senator Barbara Boxer said she'd force a vote to order public hearings on chargesSenator Bob Packwoodhas sexually harassed numerous women since 1969. Boxer, a feisty California Democrat, took to the Senate floor asserting, "We irrevocably lose the people's respect by sweeping our problems under the committee room rug." But Ethics Committee Chairman Mitch McConnell, who could but hasn't ordered such hearings, shot back "Perhaps everyone needs a cooling-off period." Other Republicans threatened to pursue harassment charges against Democratic SenatorsEdward Kennedyand Tom Daschle unless Boxer relents. Republicans say Boxer has been hypocritical on the hearings issue, but she held fast, saying, "I will not be deterred." She claims public hearings into such allegation are the norm, and any "major procedural change overturning decades of well-established precedent must be debated by the full Senate."