Skip to content

Embattled Scott DesJarlais Gavels In House Pro Forma

In the midst of a scandal over pressuring his mistress to get an abortion in 2000, Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) served as Speaker Pro Tem today, gaveling in a minutes-long pro forma session at the behest of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

In late September, before the scandal broke, DesJarlais had cited the pro forma duty as a reason he could not debate his Democratic opponent on Oct. 11, according to the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tenn.

DesJarlais eluded reporters on his way out of the chamber.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who was present to protest Congressional inaction on expiring tax rates, questioned why DesJarlais refused to recognize a parliamentary inquiry from McGovern if the Pro Tem duty was so important that DesJarlais would miss a debate,

Earlier this week, Huffington Post published parts of a transcript from a more-than-decade-old phone call in which DesJarlais, then a doctor, urged a pregnant mistress to get an abortion. The woman was a patient of the conservative anti-abortion doctor-turned-lawmaker.

According to the report, it was DesJarlais who recorded the call in September of 2000. He defeated then-Rep. Lincoln Davis (D) in 2010, and details of his messy 2001 divorce came to light during that campaign.

The Congressman’s campaign released a statement in response to the transcript, calling it election-year gutter politics. The statement did not deny the call took place or the content of the transcript.

Correction: 3:42 p.m.

An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect year for when Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) made a phone call in which he urged a pregnant mistress to get an abortion. The call was recorded in 2000.

Recent Stories

Is 2024 the year for a third-party candidate to break through with dissatisfied voters?

White House goes at ‘MAGA’ Boebert over opposition to Biden agenda in Colorado

Speaker Mike Johnson invokes ‘reason for the season’ at Capitol Christmas Tree lighting

Celeste Maloy sworn in; House now at full capacity

Biden pick for Social Security chief OK’d by Senate panel

Capitol Lens | Air apparent