Tensions rose during heated debates over the latest House Border security bill when Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi crossed the aisle to confront Pennsylvania Republican Tom Marino.
Mr. Marino said Democrats failed to address immigration issues when they controlled Congress in 2009 and 2010, while the California Democrat was House speaker. He accused the party of using the issue for political gains today.
"They didn't have the strength to go after it back then. But now are trying to make a political issue if it now," Mr. Marino said, Fox News reported Saturday.
Ms. Pelosi crossed the chamber to directly confront the congressman in front of the other representatives and House cameras.
Although Ms. Pelosi could not be heard in the video footage, Mr. Marino responded, accusing Ms. Pelosi of failing to do her research.
"It's true, madam leader, 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 on thing that you don't do, " he said.
Illinois Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren, the presiding officer, told Mr. Marino to direct his comments through the chair and not at a fellow member.
"Well, it works both ways," Mr. Marino shot back, Fox News reported.
As Ms. Pelosi returned to the Democratic side of the chamber, Mr. Marino added, "Apparently I hit the right nerve."
Ms. Pelosi immediately turned and marched across the chamber again to confront Mr. Marino.
Other representatives were stunned by the confrontation. Fox News reported that Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), could be heard off-camera saying, "What is she doing?"
A spokeswoman for Ms. Pelosi later told The Hill that Ms. 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."
Mr. Marino told reporters that his remarks were not a personal attack on Ms. Pelosi. He added that reports that Ms. Pelosi's spokesman that he had apologized for the incident were false.
"Rep. Pelosi called me an 'insignificant person' on the Floor of the House. I'll ponder that for a while driving to Williamsport tonight. Of course I'll be driving myself, with no staff or security. And I'm just a country lawyer who worked in a bakery until he was 30," he said over several tweets later.
The House passed the new border security bill by a vote of 223-189.
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