Some critics of American politics have argued that part of the problem is a lack of respect and decency among elected officials.
A recent profane remark captured on a hot microphone during a congressional committee meeting will do little to change that perception.
“You’ve already wasted time”
According to Breitbart, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) could be heard uttering “f*****g a**hole,” apparently in reference to a GOP colleague.
The most likely target of his epithet was Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), who had been attempting to introduce an amendment to the bill being discussed. It is also possible that was referring to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), who had yielded his time so that Mast could continue speaking about the proposed amendment.
Committee members were considering a bill on Wednesday that would provide emergency funding to the airline industry and Federal Aviation Administration in the event of a possible government shutdown.
Among Mast’s proposed amendments was one that would prohibit airlines and the FAA from imposing or enforcing vaccine mandates on employees and contractors.
The Florida Republican had already drawn the ire of DeFazio for introducing what the chairman described as an “off-base” amendment and had even cut Mast off at one point, declaring: “You’ve already wasted time, and you’ll waste more.”
“I call it like I see it”
Later in the meeting, DeFazio recognized Young and the Alaska Republican immediately ceded his time to Mast. Shortly thereafter, the Democrat expressed the expletive into the still-open microphone.
The moment was captured and shared on social media by Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), who wrote: “Perfect example of how Democrats approach bipartisan debate on important issues.”
As Fox News noted, it was unclear for whom the remark was intended. For his part, DeFazio offered an explanation, if not an apology, for his utterance.
“I get passionate when it comes to protecting jobs and worker safety and I call it like I see it,” he said. “I was fighting for a bipartisan bill that protects the jobs of Federal Aviation Administration workers from government shutdowns and Congressman Mast was trying to derail the Committee’s work with multiple anti-vax amendments that put aviation worker jobs, health, and safety at risk.”
For what it is worth, Mast spokesperson Courtney Parella believes the profanity was directed toward the Florida Republican, asserting: “Peter DeFazio’s comments about a decorated combat veteran are absolutely disgraceful. DeFazio should be ashamed of himself and apologize immediately.”