Heard on the Hill: Passing the Time
House Rules Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) and Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) got into a verbal headbutt on the House floor Friday night.
Background before we jump into the tussle: It was late in the evening, they were talking about the debt ceiling,and the two rumble fish are from warring street gangs — oops — we mean different political parties.
“This is a disgraceful moment. This country wants compromise,” Levin said. “What you’re doing with this bill is to undermine the chances of compromise. That’s what you’re doing.”
Levin went on to accuse Dreier (by name and pointer finger) of sabotaging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) proposal by bringing up the Budget Control Act in the House first.
Dreier then attempted to address Levin’s accusations by asking the Michigan Democrat to yield time. Levin would not.
Levin was told his speaking time had run out, so he couldn’t yield. Dreier then tried to yield Levin time, so that Levin would yield it back. Finally, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) yielded time to Levin, Levin yielded to Dreier, Dreier claimed his time and all our heads exploded.
Dreier said the House was trying to “help” Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) compromise.
To which Levin snapped, “Mr. Dreier, that is pernicious nonsense.”