Rep. Anthony Weiner who represents the New York Ninth Congressional District went ballistic on the House floor Thursday over his Republican colleagues' procedural objection to an amendment to the Public Health Services Act. The amendment would extend and improve health care benefits for 9/11 victims suffering from lasting health complications. The bill ultimately failed to get the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159, setting the stage for Rep. Weiner's outburst.
In a rant that lasted for almost two minutes, a hopping mad Weiner railed against "cowardly" Republicans who claimed they were voting against the bill because of "procedure." Weiner spat: "It's Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans, rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes!"
Weiner attacked those who "stand up and say, 'Oh, if only we had a different process we'd vote yes.' You vote yes if you believe yes! You vote in favor of something if you believe it's the right thing! If you believe it's the wrong thing, you vote no!"
"It is a shame! A shame," he exclaimed.
Kudos to Rep. Weiner. The Republicans are shameless and they need to be called on it.
Representative Anthony Weiner who represents the Ninth Congressional District of New York certainly distinguished himself today on the floor of the House.
"You gotta love these Republicans," Weiner declared. "I mean, you guys have chutzpah. The Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of insurance companies."
That led a Republican member of the House to invoke a parliamentary procedure called "Words Taken Down" challenging the appropriateness of the language. Per the C-Span Glossary, Words Taken Down is the House rule used to discipline a member for using inappropriate words in debate. After the words are "taken down" by the clerk and read back, the chair rules on their suitability. If ruled inappropriate, the member may not speak again on the same day without House permission.
Thus challenged, Rep. Weiner simply amended his remarks:
Make no mistake about it, every single Republican I have ever met in my entire life is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the insurance industry.
By the way, Congressman Weiner has his own YouTube channel if you care to keep up with him.
Blue Dog Congressman Barton "Bart" Gordon who represents the Sixth Congressional District in Tennessee that covers the north-central part of the state including some Nashville suburbs has decided to retire. Rep. Gordon has represented the TN-06 since 1985 succeeding Al Gore. The district has long been a Democratic one - only two Republicans have ever held the seat - and was once represented by former President James K. Polk.
Democratic retirements are beginning to mount, after the announcement Monday that Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) will not seek reelection next year.
Gordon said in a statement that, after a quarter-century in Congress, it's time to retire.
"Every decision I have made in Congress has been with their best interests in mind," he said. "I hope the people here at home feel that I have served them as well as their good advice and views have served me.
"When I was elected, I was the youngest member of the Tennessee congressional delegation; now, I'm one of the oldest. In fact, I have members of my staff who weren't even born when I took office. That tells me it's time for a new chapter."
Rep. Gordon becomes the fourth Democrat to call it quits. Congressmen Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), John Tanner (D-Tenn.) and Brian Baird (D-Wash.) had previously announced their retirement in recent weeks.
Additionally, Congressman Neil Abercrombie who represents the First Congressional District in Hawaii announced Friday that he will resign early to run for governor. A special election will be held to fill the remainder of Rep. Abercrombie's term. More on this story from Politico.
Congressman John Tanner, who represents the Tennessee Eighth Congressional District in the northwestern corner of the Volunteer state, is set to announce his retirement according to the National Journal. Rep. Tanner is serving his 11th term in office.
Rep. Tanner becomes the second Democrat and second Blue Dogs to announce his retirement in the past ten days, following Rep. Dennis Moore's (D-KS) decision last month to step down. Both men represent districts that voted heavily for President Bush twice. In the 2008 elections, the TN-08 gave Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) a 56%-43% margin, while Moore's Kansas City-based seat gave President Obama a narrow 51%-48% margin.
Rep. Tanner faced his toughest race in years from Stephen Fincher, a farmer and gospel singer.
Here's a sample of what's available on the Senate channel of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders: an exchange between Senator Sanders and Thomas Daschle at the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Hearing.