Tags: waters | obey | fight

Liberals Waters, Obey Fight on House Floor

Friday, 26 Jun 2009 12:06 AM

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Two liberal Democrats launched into a verbal argument that turned physical on the floor of the House Thursday night during a debate over an appropriations earmark one was seeking, according to Roll Call.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Appropriations Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., split apart from a heated conversation and began yelling at one another.

“You’re out of line,” Waters shot while walking down toward the well.

“You’re out of line,” Obey shot back before turning and walking away.

But then Obey stopped, turned back toward Waters, and shouted: “I’m not going to approve that earmark!”

The dispute apparently centered on a longtime feud over an earmark for a public school employment training center in Los Angeles that was named after Waters when she was a state representative.

Obey rejected that earmark as violating policies against so-called “monuments to me.” Waters revised her request to go to the school district’s whole adult employment training program, so the district could decide whether the money would go to the school named after Waters.

The floor had largely cleared at the time of the argument. The earmark voting had largely wrapped up, Roll Call reported.

Obey turned away, but Waters went to go huddle with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. She could be over heard telling them: “He touched me first.”

Waters was escorted by her colleagues into the cloakroom, Roll Call reported.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md, then got involved, counseling Obey. Obey had been speaking with Hoyer and leadership staff for most of the vote series prior to his encounter with Waters.

Obey then exited the chamber.

But then Waters returned briefly, loudly telling her colleagues: “He touched me.”

The dispute apparently centered on a longtime feud over an earmark for a public school employment training center in Los Angeles that was named after Waters when she was a state representative.

Obey rejected that earmark as violating policies against so-called “monuments to me.” Waters revised her request to go to the school district’s whole adult employment training program, so the district could decide whether the money would go to the school named after Waters.

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