Rep. Swalwell uses R-rated term to bash GOP on House floor

September 20, 2013

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said on the House floor Friday that the GOP needs to wake up from "radical, ideological wet dream" when it comes to reversing President Obama's health care law.

Tensions have been running high on Capitol Hill, as House Republicans plan to pass a continuing resolution Friday that will keep the government running while simultaneously defunding the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has called the proposal "dead on arrival," and the president has threatened to veto the measure, raising the prospect of possible government shutdown by the end of the month.

Several Republicans on the other side of the House floor appeared shocked to hear Swalwell use such language.

Granted, this isn't the first time the term "wet dream" has cropped up in the congressional record, though the first time it wasn't hurled as an insult. The late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) invoked it on May 16, 1996 when he was recounting two Alaskans' arduous trek as they completed the first winter circumnavigation of the Denali and Foraker massifs.

"The extremes of terrain and conditions savaged their equipment," Stevens said, describing Daryl Miller and Narj Statsik's journey. "Miller broke two ski bindings, and then his skis, then both of his snowshoes, before borrowing Stasik’s backup pair.

“'It was a product tester’s wet dream,' says Stasik," the senator added.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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