Late-night House confrontation nearly leads to alleged fistfight among lawmakers

Two U.S. Congressmen reportedly almost got into a fistfight after hours of Electoral College vote deliberations on Capitol Hill.

The Republican and Democrat members of the U.S. House of Representatives allegedly had to be separated by a Capitol staffer in the overnight hours after lawmakers resumed debating the electoral college results following the eruption of violence as demonstrators stormed the building.

It wasn’t initially clear what set off Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, but multiple accounts by reporters posted to Twitter showed that they nearly came to blows around 2 a.m. ET after inflammatory comments on the violence by Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Conor Lamb.

Lamb sparked outrage when he said Republicans had lied about the election and repeatedly called out President Trump and his supporters, as well as GOP colleagues who were challenging the election results.

“These objections don’t deserve an ounce of respect! Not an ounce!” he said during his floor remarks. “A woman died out there tonight and you’re making these objections!”

“We know that attack today, it didn’t materialize out of nowhere, it was inspired by lies. The same lies that you’re hearing in this room tonight,” he continued. “And the members who are repeating those lies should be ashamed of themselves. Their constituents should be ashamed of them.”

“The truth hurts!” he added after his words set off Republicans who openly rebuked him for calling them liars. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ruled that a challenge to Lamb’s comments by GOP Rep. Morgan Griffith was out of order.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram noted on Twitter that several lawmakers “clustered toward the back of the chamber in what appeared to be a physical exchange.”

According to Fox News:

The potential brawl between the lawmakers would have pitted Harris, a 63-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, against Allred, a 37-year-old former college football player at Baylor, who later spent some time with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.

Harris, born in New York City, has represented Maryland’s 1st Congressional District since January 2011, while Allred, a native of Dallas, has represented the 32nd Congressional District in Texas since January 2019 and was reelected to a second term in November.

*Update: Thursday morning Harris pushed back on the notion that a brawl nearly broke out.

“People made more of this interaction, but that was really all that occurred. There was nothing physical happening,” Harris told Washington radio station WMAL.

But, PBS NewsHour reporter Lisa Desjardins gave an account of what she saw, noting that about a dozen Democrats rushed to intervene as did Republicans.

Other accounts also seemed to point to Lamb’s remarks as being the catalyst in the altercation.

Frieda Powers

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