Wausau Congressman Dave Obey lost his temper on the House floor Thursday night and reportedly pushed a fellow Democratic lawmaker. Reporter Jared Allen with The Hill says he saw Obey and California Congresswoman Maxine Waters get into a shouting match over a million-dollar earmark for a public school employment training center she wants in her home district.
Allen says the veteran Wisconsin congressman denied the earmark, based a new policy change from House Democrats banning what are called "monuments to me."
Allen says Waters continued to press Obey on the earmark and the conversation turned physical. "There was some – I wouldn't say pushing, others have described it as pushing. There were some hands placed on shoulders if you will, and the two parted ways and began shouting at each other."
Allen says the confrontation comes as a surprise: "you don't generally expect members of Congress to act like this on the floor." But he says it's not that revealing, for those who know the Wausau Democrat. "Chairman Obey does indeed have a reputation for being very blunt. Says what's on his mind, does not hesitate to say what he feels, even if it's gong to upset any number of people, other members and constituents included."
Obey spokesman Ellis Brachman says Obey tried ending the confrontation but Waters chose to make a scene. Allen says it's unclear whether Obey and Waters will be reprimanded for getting into the shouting.