Two Democratic congressmen from California traded barbs with each other on Thursday at the end of a meeting with President Barack Obama.
It began when Rep. Xavier Becerra, who headed the session as the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, asked several congressmen to sit down because Obama needed to leave, Politico reports
The representatives were standing among three microphones ready to pose questions, according to Politico.
Most complied, but Rep. Henry Waxman, who has represented the Los Angeles area for 38 years, began to ask a question about Obama’s willingness to support climate change legislation.
Becerra tried to stop Waxman, but he continued, Politico reports.
While Obama offered to answer the question privately, Waxman said he wanted the group to hear the president’s answer.
The exchange led several Democratic sources to later tell Politico that Waxman was rude in his insistence to be heard, while others chose to follow Becerra’s directive.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who also represents California, described to Politico that Waxman’s question was more of a statement. She said Obama reiterated his strong support to address climate change.
Later on Thursday, however, Waxman told Politico that Becerra was “absolutely right” in noting that he was inappropriate once the chairman noted that the time for asking questions had ended.
Waxman told Politico that he felt the need to praise Obama for discussing climate change in his inaugural address in January.
“I used that opportunity to make the point on climate change because it's an important issue that just is not being discussed adequately,” Waxman told Politico.
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