Drama erupts on House floor

In a chaotic scene filled with shouting more typical of that which takes place in the British Parliament, the Republican Study Committee's (RSC) alternative to Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) 2012 budget went down in a 119-136 vote Friday.

The vote was gaveled shut only after Democratic leaders started pushing members to switch their "no" votes to "present," in order to force a face-off between conservatives and the Republican leadership. A total of 176 lawmakers voted "present."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Twitter:

Dems voting present on RSC budget to highlight GOP divisions, plans to end Medicare - which bdgt does GOP support? Ryan or Ryan on steroids?


Hoyer and Ryan could both be observed yelling on the House floor, with Hoyer shouting to his members to vote present and Ryan shouting for the vote to be gaveled closed. 

Members of the Republican leadership flipped their votes in the closing moments of the proposal to help fell the proposal. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) switched her vote from yes to no at the last minute, as did Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Rules Committee.