The aftermath of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to summarily fire the House chaplain for reasons he has yet to explain—only to reverse himself after the chaplain pointedly un-resigned—has been getting more heated rather than less, with a House floor fight that had others worried somebody was going to throw a punch.
No. 4 House Democrat Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), who is Catholic, and Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) got up in each other’s faces on the House floor and squabbled over the merits of a special investigation into the dismissal. The exchange was so heated that some lawmakers and aides watching worried they’d come to blows, though Crowley’s office said that was never going to happen. […]
After Crowley offered a similar resolution for a second time Tuesday, MacArthur walked over to the Democratic side of the chamber and accused Crowley of politicizing the issue. According to one source who witnessed it, MacArthur said he prays with Conroy regularly and he’s a Republican — so this is not a partisan issue and Crowley shouldn’t make it one.
At issue is that Crowley wants an investigation into why the Catholic chaplain was fired, since Ryan has offered no justification other than that unnamed Republicans weren’t satisfied with his ministering. Perhaps that was over Republican complaints that the chaplain’s prayers were getting too Jesus-y, what with calls to serve the poor and whatnot. Perhaps it was something else. We don’t know, and as usual Democrats would like a fuller explanation and a Republican is popping up to furiously tell that Democrat to let it drop.
So this is going swimmingly. What a brilliant mind that Paul Ryan is. You can see why they put him in charge of things.