A bit of drama that played out on the House floor on Friday bled into Monday, when a Republican congressman gave a play-by-play of the heated skirmish between himself and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) laid out the details of his fight with Pelosi (D-Calif.) during an appearance on Fox News, concluding that “some people in Congress think they are royalty. … I’m not afraid to speak up, I’m a street fighter, I’m not going to continue to let someone belittle and make statements that are not true.”
With passions high from the difficulty over getting a border bill passed before recess, Marino was giving a House floor speech about immigration when he charged that Pelosi could have dealt with the issue when the Democrats had the majority in the beginning of the Obama administration. Pelosi crossed the floor to confront Marino to his face, and according to his retelling, told him that he was a liar. In a later conversation, she called him “an insignificant person” while “wagging her finger at me,” Marino said.
He said she was “visibly shaken.” As a former U.S. attorney, Marino said the confrontation was a “walk in the park” compared to dealing with drug dealers and hardened criminals.
Pelosi’s office said in a statement Friday, “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. What have Republicans done?”
Pelosi’s spokeswoman Evangeline George also said that Marino had apologized. The congressman says he did not.
Pelosi’s office said Monday it had nothing to add to its statement.