Comer criticizes ‘repeat offenders of breaking decorum’ during congressional hearings

Comer criticizes ‘repeat offenders of breaking decorum’ during congressional hearings

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) on Thursday pinned the blame of last week’s raucous contempt hearing on a few “repeat offenders of breaking decorum” on Capitol Hill.

“It’s very unfortunate. It wasn’t the first time, I hope it’s the last time,” Comer quipped in an interview on CNN. “The members that have been constant repeat offenders of breaking decorum have all been called out, and hopefully it won’t happen again.”

Nearly an hour of disorder unfolded during the contempt markup for Attorney General Merrick Garland when Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) clashed after the Georgia Republican accused Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Texas) of wearing “fake eyelashes.” Crockett then hit back at Greene, seemingly referring to her as “bleach blonde bad built butch body.”

“You’re not supposed to engage in personalities,” Comer said during his CNN appearance while explaining the incident. “And unfortunately, that’s what happened in the last committee hearing. Rep. Greene’s words were struck [from the record], I think Rep. Crockett said some very inappropriate things as well.”

The chaos of the Oversight hearing began after Greene asked if any Democrats on the panel were employing the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing former President Trump’s hush money trial in Manhattan. Republicans have repeatedly targeted Merchan’s daughter for working at a progressive digital agency.

“Please tell me what that has to do with Merrick Garland,” Crockett asked. “Do you know what we’re here for?”

“I don’t think you know what you’re here for,” Greene responded. “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

Democrats immediately criticized Greene for the comment, with Ocasio-Cortez yelling “that’s disgusting” and calling her remarks “absolutely unacceptable.”

Ocasio-Cortez, Greene and Crockett then got into a back-and-forth, with other lawmakers occasionally stepping in to take jabs at the other side.

At one point, Crockett asked if her hypothetical alliterative comment — which appeared to be a jab at Greene — would break congressional protocol.

Comer noted Thursday the committee hearing was a “very important” one that was “hijacked by a few unfortunate soundbites.”

After the disruption, the Oversight Committee eventually voted 24-20 to advance a measure to hold Garland in contempt of Congress in an effort to censure him for failing to turn over audio recordings of President Biden speaking with special counsel Robert Hur.

Comer appeared on CNN to discuss a bill he introduced Wednesday with Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) that would require presidents to make a series of disclosures about their relatives’ foreign earnings.

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