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Enraged Pelosi chases GOP congressman across House floor

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

On Sunday morning, Rep. Tom Marino, (R-PA), posted a YouTube video of his interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," during which he described how former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accosted him on the House floor Friday, saying she called him “a liar, a liar” and twice dubbed him as “insignificant.”

“In an unusual breach of decorum, even for the divided Congress,” John Parkinson and Chris Good reported for ABC News Friday, “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chased Rep. Tom Marino across the House floor, taking offense at comments by the Pennsylvania Republican during debate on the border funding bill Friday night.”

As Fox News reported Sept. 9, 2009, House Democrats demanded that Tom Wilson, (R-SC), "apologize or face censure" after he shouted "you lie" during President Barack Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber.

“You know something that I find quite interesting about the other side?” the Pennsylvania Republican congressman asked as he concluded his comments on the border supplemental. “Under the leadership of the former Speaker [Pelosi], and under the leadership of their former leader [Rep. Steny Hoyer], when in 2009 and 2010, they had the House, the Senate and the White House, and they knew this problem existed.”

“They didn’t have the strength to go after it back then," Marino added. "But now are trying to make a political issue out of it now.”

“Off-mic,” Parkinson and Good described how Pelosi “then approached Marino, crossing the aisle in view of cameras, and apparently challenged Marino’s assertion that Democrats did not do anything about the issue when they had majority control.”

“Yes it is true,” Marino told Pelosi. “I did the research on it. You might want to try it. You might want to try it, Madam Leader. Do the research on it. Do the research. I did it. That’s one thing that you don’t do.”

"Apparently," Marino surmised of Pelosi's response to his comments, "I hit the right nerve.”

“After Marino concluded his remarks, and as many Republicans applauded their colleague,” Parkinson and Good described how “Pelosi crossed the chamber again in view of cameras, enraged, pointing and sticking her finger at Marino.”

She then chased Marino up a Republican aisle, "gesturing and arguing with him," relenting only "after Republicans tried to get between Pelosi and Marino.

After Pelosi returned to the Democratic side of the chamber, the House "promptly voted to approve the $694 million border supplemental, 223-189."

“According to Pelosi spokeswoman Evangeline George,” Parkinson and Good added in an update, “Leader Pelosi just wanted to remind the Congressman that House Democrats had the courage to pass the DREAM Act – and have the courage to stand up for what the American people want: bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform.”

However, at the time House Democrats passed the DREAM Act, it was not "what the American people wanted."

As Politico reported Nov. 10, 2010, Pelosi ignored the “risk” of “appearing out of sync with voters -- "who sent a message during the midterm election that they want lawmakers to focus on job creation” and pushed for a vote on the DREAM Act “during the lame-duck session.”

A November 22, 2010 poll conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform showed that – while 54 percent of voters opposed the DREAM Act – 59 percent opposed using a lame duck Congress to pass it, saying they should focus on economic issues rather than social policies.

Still, in a Dec. 8, 2010 post on her Democratic Leader website, Pelosi touted the passage of the DREAM Act by the Democrat-controlled House by a vote of 216 to 198.

As Deseret News reported Dec. 18, 2010, the Dream Act was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate by a vote of 55-41, falling five votes short of the 60 needed to break through “largely GOP opposition and win its enactment” before Republicans would take over the House and narrow the Democrat’s majority in the Senate the following month.

A March 16-20 Siena College poll showed that 56 percent of voters in New York opposed a state version of the DREAM Act, which failed in the New York Senate.

On Nov. 28, 2011, The Daily Caller reported that a poll conducted by the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times showed that 55 percent of registered voters in California -- Pelosi's home state -- opposed the state’s DREAM Act, which was signed into law" the previous month.

Following Friday’s vote, Pelosi tweeted that the House GOP “has reached a new low with votes to deport DREAMers and unaccompanied children escaping violence” and called the vote “unconscionable.”

The “bill-says u aren't welcome,” Pelosi said in a tweet directed at “DREAMers,” adding that “this is a call 2 action” to “hold them accountable.”

“It's time to stop catering to most radical voices of the GOP & address #BorderCrisis in thoughtful & compassionate manner,” Pelosi added in a tweet directed at Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

However, as CNN reported Thursday, “the current crisis on the nation's southern border appears to be fueling a notable shift in American attitudes toward immigration policy with border security growing in importance.”

While 54 percent of Americans supported the idea of legal status for illegal immigrants in February, and only 41 percent preferred tighter border security, Thursday’s CNN/ORC International poll showed that 51 percent of Americans now prefer tighter border security and only 45 percent favor providing illegal immigrants with legal status.

The Washington Examiner reported Monday, a July 19-21 YouGov poll showed that “a huge majority of Americans, 81 percent, believe the new immigration crisis of unaccompanied children streaming over the U.S.-Mexico border is serious, and almost as many want them gone.”

Parkinson and Good also noted in the updated ABC News report that Pelosi’s spokeswoman said the angered former House Speaker had “accepted” Marino’s “apology.” However, Marino’s chief of staff, Bill Tighe, insisted in an email that Marino “did not apologize to Leader Pelosi and does not intend to do so as he has nothing to apologize for.”

“She was entirely out of line in approaching him while he was recognized and delivering remarks on the Floor,” Tighe wrote. “Her staff’s comment in your story about her accepting his apology in simply not true.”

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