Dem melts down on House floor over immigration

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) on Wednesday night lost his cool on the House floor over the issue of immigration, after the presiding officer warned another Democrat not to refer to people sitting in the House gallery. [WATCH VIDEO]

Democrats were calling for House passage of a comprehensive immigration bill, and Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) used his remarks to note supporters of such a bill that were sitting in the gallery.

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When he was done, the presiding officer, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) issued the standard warning that members are not supposed to refer to people in the gallery. That's when Polis confronted Walorski.

"Madame Speaker, the gentle people in the gallery… would not have to be in the gallery… advocating if this House simply took up the bill," he began. "Do you think they want to be spending their time here, Madame Speaker? Is that what you think?"

"And you're saying we're addressing them, and that's what you're upset about Madame Speaker?" he continued, moving into a full scream. "I want you, Madame Speaker, to address the reason that they are here! They are here because our government is tearing apart their families, Madame Speaker!"

Walorski interrupted by saying all members are instructed not to address people in the gallery, but Polis shot back: "I want the Speaker to understand that the Speaker is obstructing H.R. 15 from coming to the floor!"

H.R. 15 is the House Democratic counterpart to the Senate's immigration bill, which House GOP leaders have said they would not take up.

Walorski tried to interrupt by saying Polis was out of order, as Polis continued to bark, "Will the Speaker understand that? Will the Speaker understand that?"

Polis quickly calmed down and continued his remarks about the need for an immigration bill. He said until a bill passes, people will continue to sit in the gallery — "perhaps against your wishes," he said to Walorski.