Politics

C-SPAN Gold: Congressman left floundering after confusion on House floor

Chris Moody Contributor
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To hear Dan Burton tell it, Louie Gohmert owes him big time.

Burton, Republican of Indiana, was left floundering on the House floor for more than 10 minutes Thursday afternoon when there was some confusion about floor time between him and Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, forcing Burton to stall to keep the floor open for his old friend. Burton had concluded his prepared comments, but didn’t know what to do when he was forced to keep talking.

“The people in the cloak room came out and said, ‘You need to keep talking,’ and I said, ‘well I finished my special order,’ and they said, ‘but Louie Gohmert’s coming over and he wants to talk,’ and I said, ‘well, why isn’t he here?’ and they said, ‘we don’t know but he said to keep talking,'” Burton said after the episode.

To keep the floor open for his colleague, Burton started talking about some of his favorite movies; at one point he pulled out his cell phone.

“Well this is embarrassing,” he said, looking up at the visitor’s gallery.

WATCH: Burton on House floor

The Daily Caller caught up with Burton outside the House floor once he was finally released, and Burton opened up about what was going through his mind. He said he was thinking of doing an impression of his favorite actor Al Jolson, singing, or telling some jokes on the floor.

“This is a promise, if you guys watch me and if this ever happens again I will have a repertoire of my famous jokes, and I’ll start reeling ’em off one after the other,” Burton said before launching into some of those “famous jokes.”

“My wife, somebody stole her credit card and I didn’t turn it in for four weeks, and they said, ‘why?’ and I said ‘because he’s spending less than she does!'”

“My wife, when we got married, I said I was going to take her some place she’s never been, and she said, ‘where’s that?’ and I said ‘the kitchen!'”

TheDC asked Burton if he was going to make Gohmert buy him a beer for St. Patrick’s Day.

“I don’t think he can afford it, he’s from Texas,” Burton cracked.

Surely, Gohmert owes him something, TheDC inquired.

“Louie owes me a lot. I’ll tell you why,” he said, and then proceeded to talk about the time Gohmert cajoled him into joining him in a hot spring in Homestead, Virginia on a cold day that nearly left Burton with “damn near pneumonia.” (“The water is literally freezing on my body…”)

“So you say, does Louie owe me anything? You bet he does! He owes me a lot! And then today he compounds it by being late and leaving me on the floor talking!”

UPDATE: The Daily Caller originally reported that Gohmert was late for his speech, but in an email to TheDC, his spokesman explained what happened Thursday night:

Rep. Louie Gohmert was told by the time manager in the Republican cloakroom he could not have the Republican’s one-hour time slot because Rep. Burton wanted the entire Republican hour.

In addition to this, Rep Gohmert was informed Rep. Burton was going to use the entire hour and was going to yield to other speakers during this hour. The Congressman was also instructed that he would not have to report to the House floor until Rep. Burton was 45-50 minutes into his speech.

Our office received a frantic call from the Republican cloakroom saying Burton was not going to be using his full hour, finishing up 30 minutes earlier than expected. Congressman Gohmert was urged to rush to the floor.

In a meeting at the time, Rep. Gohmert did as he was directed and dropped everything to get to the House floor. He was not late for the time originally assigned to him.

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