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Tempers flare on House floor

By Ben Pershing
Now in its eighth hour, the House floor debate on health-care legislation is getting a little testy.

Just after 8 p.m., Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) suggested on the floor that Republicans were lying about how the reform bill would affect health care for veterans. That may sound like the kind of charge both parties lob at each other every day at press conferences and cable talk shows, but the House is a little different. As this primer on the chamber's rules states, "A Member should avoid impugning the motives of another Member, the Senate or the President, using offensive language, or uttering words that are otherwise deemed unparliamentary."

So Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) immediately asked that Pascrell's words be "taken down." In such a circumstance, it is then up to the member presiding over the debate from the Speaker's chair to determine whether the comments in question were offensive enough to strike from the Congressional Record.

A lawmaker in Pascrell's situation can either hold his ground or offer to withdraw the words himself. Pascrell chose the latter option, returning to the microphone after a few moments of deliberation to ask that the clerk "remove any word or words that were deemed offensive."

Pascrell didn't say he was sorry, but Davis responded, with a hint of sarcasm: "I accept the gentleman's apology."

"Don't push it," Pascrell shot back.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 21, 2010; 8:37 PM ET
Categories:  Capitol Briefing , Health Care  
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Next: NOW, NARAL displeased with Obama-Stupak deal

Comments

I would like to comment that to the uneducated such as vn11701 Guam is a U.S. Territory has been for some time.

To those like you, do not let education stand in your way of an opinion.

Posted by: murchu | March 22, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Good or bad, this vote was nothing but team sports. One team won, the other lost -- for today. Either side could really care about the issue, they're just trying to beat the other. They could have been promising lollipops for toddlers and it would be the most important thing for one side, and ruining the fabric of freedom for the other. This is a joke. Maybe the two sides can make it up by agreeing to support a pointless war against an innocent and smaller nation. Guam's getting pushy...

Posted by: vn11701 | March 21, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

My relatives grew up in East Germany during the Nazi era. They said to me 5 years ago, that this country looks to much like home did before Hitler came into power. Look at what we have here. Boiling pot full of frogs and fools. WAKE up America before it is too late.

Posted by: sanitaryair | March 21, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Our Freedom is what is on the line here not health care. The forefathers are shouting out loud with disgust for this injustice. Let it be known that the Democratic party will be out of jobs at election time, you will be "FIRED". We the people will overturn these ridiculous laws you illegally passed. Revolution is what is need to purge the dross out.

Posted by: sanitaryair | March 21, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

How sweet the sound of wounded greedy corporate oligarchs and their fellow travelers.Actually, Rep. David Drier summed up the Repube total lack of character earlier in the afternoon by refusing to let 80 year old Rep. Louise Slaughter full answer his question-The classless act of a Larry Craig political bully.

Posted by: BBear1 | March 21, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

HOw sweet the sound of wounded greedy corporate oligarchs and their fellow travelers.Actually, Rep. David Drier summed up the Repube total lack of character earlier in the afternoon by refusing to let 80 year old Rep. Louise Slaughter full answer his question-The classless act of a Larry Craig political bully.

Posted by: BBear1 | March 21, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Watching the vote and seeing/hearing some of these Congressmen I'm seeing/hearing a lot of angry white men. Strange that they invoke Stupak's name and then he has to say "not true". Strange what people do/say when they loose.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 21, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Watching the vote and see some of these Congressmen I'm seeing a lot of angry white men.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 21, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

seahawk: $400,000.00? Where did that come from? We have a point system to gain entry based on what you can do, not bring in, ie a Phd = 25 points out of the 75 needed to gain "landed" status and once you get in you're automaticaly covered for health care. PS: Americans make up about 3% of our population now, the largest immigrant/refugee community we have.

Posted by: sjag1 | March 21, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Democrat Alcee L. Hastings said today that Congress has no rules, hell no, when we get this close on a bill, we make up the rules as we go along.

Posted by: prossers7 | March 21, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

So uncomfortabletruths, why are you so knowledgable of the Soviet Duma in the '70s? Are you one of them pinkos?

By the way, the ruling whatever-you-called-it, is not self-appointed. Its called an election. Your girl Palin blew that for you.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | March 21, 2010 10:38 PM | Report abuse

Hark! Hear that? It's the sound of Republican heads exploding all over the country! Such sweet music.

Posted by: fluxgirl | March 21, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Flights to Mogadishu for "freedom loving" Americans tomorrow. No government takeover of your life there!

Posted by: ElrodinTennessee | March 21, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Politics can be so much fun:).

Posted by: rlj1 | March 21, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see this happening. Not much longer now...

Posted by: DadaBeRustingTipi | March 21, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Where were the Republicans for freedom with the PATRIOT act was passed? Providing health care is somehow an assault on liberty but government intrusions in your privacy are not? Only if Glenn Beck says so because then it must be true.

Posted by: MrCee | March 21, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
Where were you? Weren't you listening? We were there, and fully involved. We were cheering on the Administraiton. I'm not afraid of Homeland Security. I believe that they're needed, and should protect the Nation. I have nothing to fear from them. I don't plan to become a Terrorist.
I also don't expect to be fined, or criminalized by an Administration that's clearly passing laws that are unconstitutional.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | March 21, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

It reminds me of the incident that occurred in 1856, Wherein Congressman Preston S. Brooks, Dem, SC, attacked and beat unconscious, in the Senate Chamber, Senator Charles Sumner, Republican, Mass. Sumner, had, in a speech, criticized, and insulted Brooks' older Cousin, in a heated, and vitriolic speech, given on the Senate floor.
Strangely enough. Senator Sumner, after three years of recuperation, returned to the Senate. Congressman Brooks, more strangely, resigned his seat, was overwhelmingly, re-elected, and mysteriously expired, the following year, in DC, from the "Croup." Is anyone thinking Conspiracy??
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | March 21, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

@seahawkdad
Few Americans who do move to Canada move home after 5 years....and very, very few would move because of the Canadian 'socialistic' health care system.
The principals behind out system is that care (note - not insurance) must be universal, portable, comprehensive, accessible, and publicly administered. Now we have our problems but we much prefer our system and take pride in it - warts, and problems notwithstanding.
And just like many Americans distrust the intrusion of government in health care - Canadians distrust (to an even greater extent I believe) to the intrusion of the market system into our health care.

Posted by: NorthernNeighbour33 | March 21, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Where were the Republicans for freedom with the PATRIOT act was passed? Providing health care is somehow an assault on liberty but government intrusions in your privacy are not? Only if Glenn Beck says so because then it must be true.

Posted by: MrCee | March 21, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Hey, just move to Canada.

Of course it will cost you 400,000 Canadian dollars.

The good news is that you get it back in five years. The bad news is that they pay no interest on it.

Oh, and I guess the other bad news is that they have a single payer, government run health plan.

So much for freedom.

Posted by: seahawkdad | March 21, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

spare us the false analogies and stretched logic, Uncomfortable. We stopped being a free nation when the Supreme Court appointed W as president and violated the will of the people. W, as you must remember, led us into war on lies, killing thosuands of U.S. soldiers and then through the misnamed Patriot Act, proceeded to violate the liberties and privacy of millions of Americans. The Democrats should shove this bill down the throats of these lying do-nothing pawns of the insurance companies.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | March 21, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Watching this "debate" in the U.S. House today reminds me more of the Russian Duma in the 1970s than any prior action of the U.S. Congress. Between the totalitarian aspects of the bill, and the totalitarian tactics of our self-appointed "Ruling Triumverant", it looks more and more like the freedom-loving in this nation may need to look elsewhere as their ancestors did, when America was still free.

Posted by: UncomfortableTruths | March 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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