Sparks flew Monday during a House committee hearing yet another attempt to repeal Obamacare when Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings insulted the entire state of Texas as someplace he wouldn’t live in “for all the tea in China.”
The spat started when Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess criticized the Obama administration’s high-handed unwillingness to work with Republican governors.
“Had governors worked with the administration, we might not be in this position,” Hastings spluttered in response. “I don’t know about in your state, which I think is a crazy state to begin with – and I mean that just as I said it.”
That didn’t go over well at all.
“The gentleman made a very defamatory statement about my state and I will not stand here and listen to it,” Burgess complained to acting Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, who was filling in for Texas Rep. Pet Sessions at the time.
“Fine, then you don’t have to listen, you can leave if you choose,” Hastings responded. “I told you what I think about Texas – I wouldn’t live there for all the tea in China.”
When Burgess demanded an apology, Hastings wasn’t budging.
“You will wait until hell freezes over, for me to say anything in an apology,” he said. “I would apologize to you, if I was directing my comments to you. I was commenting about the state that you happened to be a resident in.”
Maybe Hastings would be more welcome in China.
But what’s really odd about the flare up is it’s tough to tell what Hastings has against Texas, since there’s not you can say about the Lone Star State that isn’t just as true about Hastings’ own Florida.
Both are staunchly Republican – the GOP holds the Florida governor’s office and firm majorities in both houses of the state Legislature. And both are staunch opponents of Obamacare’s key element of Medicaid expansion. (Something Hastings acknowledged made it “coming close to being just as crazy.”)
In fact, about the only thing Texas has that Florida doesn’t is the dubious distinction of repeatedly electing a certified Democrat nutcase like Sheila Jackson Lee to the United States Congress.
But then, Florida does have Hastings.
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