Retiring Congressman Loses Cool on House Floor

ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:

Rep. Steve Buyer, a retiring nine-term lawmaker Republican from Indiana, became a little heated on the House floor today as the chamber prepared to consider a bill out of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

As the House moved through a group of bills under the rules of suspensions, Buyer, attempted to seek unanimous consent to address the House for five minutes, but was overruled by the Speaker Pro Tempore, Rep. Rep. Laura Richardson, D-California. Buyer then tried to gain consent to address the House for one minute, but was again overruled by Richardson.

“A sitting member of the House, the Speaker, chooses not to recognize another sitting member, is that correct?” Buyer asked.

Richardson then told Buyer that “recognition is within the discretion of the Speaker.”

Buyer was attempting to voice his objects over a bill from the Veterans’ Affairs committee coming to the House floor under the rules of suspension. Just as the House was poised to move onto the bill, the chairman of the committee, Rep. Bob Filner, D-California, was absent from the floor and debate could not proceed.

“If the chairman is not here to present the bill, shouldn’t we go to the next bill and would therefore withdraw this bill?” Buyer asked. “I asked to be recognized. I ask unanimous consent to address the House for one minute.”

“I don’t even see anyone here on the floor to object, Madam Speaker. It’s within your discretion,” Buyer continued. “There is no one here to object. This is why the American people have thrown you out of power.”

Finally, Richardson recognized Buyer for one minute. Watch the full exchange here:

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