Mike Fitzpatrick: Dems’ Newest Villain
By Keegan Gibson and Ali Carey
Update: The House Republicans largely conceded to President Obama and Senate Democrats – the extension was agreed to Thursday night.
On the matter of Congressman Fitzpatrick, he reiterated to PoliticsPA that Hoyer’s remarks were out of order Thursday afternoon.
“Former Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was on the House floor trying to violate the established rules and procedure, and I gaveled him out of order,” Fitzpatrick said.
“The way I see it, he’s the villian,” he quipped.
The scene made its way around Fox and CBS affiliates, and Fitzpatrick was skewered by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. Those videos are below, courtesy of the Pa Democrats.
Democrats pounced on Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) Wednesday, as he ended session in the U.S. House over zealous efforts by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer to bring a payroll tax cut extension measure to the floor.
Standing in for House Speaker John Boehner, Fitzpatrick ignored the latest Democratic effort to bring to vote a two-month extension of the tax cuts – a measure that met with strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate.
“You’re walking out, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers,” Hoyer said.
“We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing the issue of critical importance to this country.”
From a parliamentary perspective, Fitzpatrick was correct; Hoyer was speaking out of order. But the optics are terrible, especially given the way Democrats are framing the debate (i.e. the GOP is out of touch, and doesn’t appreciate how much the $40-per-paycheck tax cut helps working people).
Liberal blogs are lighting up, making Fitzpatrick that face of the House GOP which has thus far refrained from bringing the compromise to a vote. DailyKos,Think Progress, Talking Points Memo are some of the left-leaning sites circulating video of the congressional session. Raw Story further noted that Boehner’s office cut the off cameras as Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) began to speak.
Democrats in the real world are attacking, too. Pa. Democratic Party spokesman Mark Nicastre accused the Congressman of joining the “Tea Party fringe of his party and holding the middle-class hostage.
“At a time when middle class families need their leaders to step up and find solutions, Congressman Fitzpatrick simply walked away from his duties. Pennsylvanians deserve tax relief and Mike Fitzpatrick and his fellow Tea Party Republicans are holding them hostage to appease the far right wing of their party.”
All three of Fitzpatrick’s prospective Democratic challengers (or people close to them) tweeted about the day’s event: Doylestown Borough President Det Ansinn, attorney and 2011 candidate for Pa. Commonwealth Court Kathryn Boockvar, and outgoing Doylestown Township Supervisor Cynthia Philo.
A spokesperson for Fitzpatrick did not respond to requests for comment.
CSPAN’s footage of the exchange was posted courtesy of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (embedded below).
Rachel Maddow Show: