Dem Rep Lieu Violates House Rule to Play Audio of Crying Kids, Security Called

Dem Rep Lieu Violates House Rule to Play Audio of Crying Kids, Security Called


A Democratic member of the House blatantly violated chamber rules Friday afternoon by playing audio of what’s been reported to be crying children at a detention center near the United States’ border with Mexico through a device in his pocket.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., tried to make a political point by first talking about the family separation fiasco, which occurs when people sneak into the U.S. from Mexico rather than through an official port of entry. Adults are processed criminally because of a zero-tolerance policy, while any children with them are taking somewhere else.

President Donald Trump ended the separation policy on Thursday, but that has not stopped Democrats from continuing to harp on the issue.

“If the Statue of Liberty could cry, she would be crying today,” Lieu said. “As I stand here, there are 2,300 babies and kids who were ripped away from their parents by our government and are in detention facilities across America.”

Lieu then slammed the family separation practice, which has been happening since May, calling it “the functional equivalent of kidnapping.”

He then appeared to tap a device in his jacket pocket, which began playing audio purportedly taken at a child detention center that was published by ProPublica this week.

Lieu stood there as the audio played.

Rep. Karen Handel, R-Ga., was presiding over the House at the speaker’s chair and soon asked Lieu to switch off the device. Here’s how the next few minutes of their conversation went:

Handel: “The gentleman will suspend.”

Lieu: “For what reason, Madame speaker?”

Handel: “The gentleman is in breach of decorum.”

Lieu: “Cite the rule, Madame Speaker.”

Handel: “Rule 17 of the House that prohibits …”

Lieu, interrupting: “There’s no rule that says I can’t play sounds.”

Handel: “The gentleman will suspend.”

Lieu: “Why are you trying to prevent the American people from listening to what it sounds like in a detention facility?”

Handel: “Rule 17 of the House prohibits the use of that device.”

Lieu continued to talk over Handel as she banged her gavel and continued to say, “The gentleman will suspend the use of the device. It is in violation of rule 17.”

After conferring with several people near the speaker’s podium, Handel concluded that Lieu was out of line and out of time.

“Will the gentleman suspend, per rule 17 of the House?” she asked.

Lieu refused, at which point Handel ordered the House sergeant-at-arms to “enforce the rules of decorum.”

A woman walked up to Lieu and said something as Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving hovered in the background. Lieu then reached into his pocket, switched off the device, and yielded the floor.

Lieu later tweeted about the episode and used profanity in the post:


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