Rep. Scott DesJarlais stifles opponents during pro forma session

Authored By James Harrison

While presiding over a pro forma session of Congress Friday, Rep. Scott DesJarlais slammed his gavel and walked off the floor, disregarding the protests of his Democratic colleagues.

According to a National Journal report, the congressman ignored the comments of his fellow Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, who directed shouts at DesJarlais regarding the impending fiscal cliff and the recently expired farm bill.

In an emailed statement, DesJarlais described his colleagues’ actions as “political theater.”

“If my two colleagues were really serious about working on these issues, I would encourage them to contact President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and ask them to return to Washington to consider the 30 House-passed jobs bills languishing in the Senate rather than engage in political theater,” he said.

Official legislative business rarely takes place during pro forma sessions, which are held in order to prevent recess appointments from being made while lawmakers are away from Washington, D.C., for extended periods of time. 

Congress will return to close out the year with its lame duck session following the election.