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Hoyer Criticizes Colbert’s Testimony Before House Panel

The testimony that comedian Stephen Colbert made to a House subcommittee last week was “inappropriate,” according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

“I think it was an embarrassment for Mr. Colbert more than the House,” the Maryland Democrat said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee last week about his role in a United Farm Workers campaign called “Take Our Jobs,” an effort that invites U.S. citizens and legal residents to replace undocumented immigrant field laborers.

Hoyer stopped short of criticizing the immigration subcommittee’s decision to call Colbert as a witness, but he said it was wrong for Colbert to testify as his show’s character, rather than as a person concerned about the issue.

“What he had to say, I think, was not the way it should had been said,” Hoyer said. “If he had a position on the issues, he should have given those issues. … I think it was inappropriate.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that she believed Colbert’s testimony was acceptable. “He’s an American, right?” the California Democrat told reporters at a news conference. “He comes before the committee, he has a point of view, he can bring attention to an important issue like immigration. I think it’s great.”

House Republicans, who appeared before Hoyer on “Fox News Sunday,” did not miss the opportunity to use Colbert’s testimony to argue that Democrats are not serious about fixing the economy.

“They have time to bring a comedian to Washington, D.C., but they don’t have time to eliminate the uncertainty by extending all of the current tax rates. I think that is irresponsible,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. It is undecided whether the House will vote this week on extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and whether the extension will cover all taxpayers or just the middle class.