A late-night debate over whether to drastically shrink federal highway spending in 2013 turned ugly just after 11 p.m., when a House Democrat accused a Republican and former U.S. Marine of hating America.
Members were debating a motion to instruct House conferees to push for a cap on federal highway spending of $37.5 billion for 2013, from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.). That would take spending to a point well below what Senate Democrats have proposed in their bill — the Senate bill would spend $109 billion over two years.
At the end of a mostly predictable debate, and with his time expired, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who is known for making inflammatory remarks, capped his speech by yelling at Broun, “Why do you hate this country so much?”
Broun responded, “I was just charged by this gentleman for hating America, and I challenge those words, and I ask that his words be taken down.”
DeFazio said, “I don’t believe it rises to that level,” and said his comments were not directed at any specific individual.