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June 26, 2009
Dems almost come to blows on House Floor
Two of the most liberal members of the Democratic caucus - David Obey and Maxine Waters - got into a shouting match on the floor of the House that, according to at least one participant, resulted in Obey giving the 9/11 truther Waters a shove.
The dispute is over an earmark of all things. Waters wants money for an employment training center already named after her in California. Obey is rejecting it on the grounds that it violates his rule of "monuments to me." According to The Hill's Jared Allen and Mike Soraghan, Obey and Waters began yelling at each other:
"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!"
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.
Obey then conversed for a few minutes with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Hoyer's office said the two did not discuss the incident but instead talked only about the appropriations process. 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 Waters soon returned briefly, again telling her colleagues: "He touched me."
Waters then disappeared into the cloakroom.
Apparently, these hard economic times are hitting Congress too. What's the world coming to when a member can't get a few million dollars approved for a center named after them?