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Stockman Tweets Photo From the House Floor, Violating Chamber Rules

Rep. Steve Stockman got a little too excited following a floor vote Wednesday and made a move that violates House decorum.

The Texas Republican snapped a photo of Georgia Republican Paul Broun flashing a smile after what Stockman described as a “historic vote to #AuditTheFed” and tweeted it from his official account.  

Though cellphones have become commonplace on the House floor, photography is strictly prohibited. A source with knowledge of the House rules confirmed that Stockman’s photo is a violation of the rules. Photo or video documentation of proceedings by members of Congress breaches a clause on “comportment.”  

“A person on the floor of the House may not smoke or use a mobile electronic device that impairs decorum,” states part of rule 17, clause 5.  

In January 2011, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, gave the OK to electronic tablet devices as long as they are used “unobtrusively.” However, the ban on using devices for still photography, audio or video recording still stands.  

Asked about the rules violation, Stockman spokesman Donny Ferguson gave CQ Roll Call a simple explanation.  

“I don’t believe he was aware,” Ferguson said in an email. “He was no doubt caught up in the moment.”  

It is unclear if the outgoing congressman, who is already the subject of an ethics investigation , will be disciplined.  

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