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Republican Committee Chair Calls Police to Arrest Democrats

StoryJuly 22, 2003
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Republican Bill Thomas called in the police to arrest a group of Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee who had fled a late night meeting to protest the way Republicans were handling a pension bill. We hear from Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel who was part of the protest and Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin.

The Chair of the Ways and Means Committee called in the Capitol Police Friday with an unusual request: to force a group of Democrats to leave a nearby library.

Republican Bill Thomas called in the police to arrest a group of Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee. They had fled a late night meeting to protest the way Republicans were handling a bill on pension. Democrats charged the Republicans were running the Committee like a police state. No arrests were made.

Among the few reporters who witnessed this scene was Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post. In an article she wrote on Friday for the paper’s website she described the incident as a sign of "open warfare" between the two parties. She joins us now to discuss what happened and what led to this fight.

  • * Rep. Charles Rangel* (D-New York), one of the Democratic members of the Ways and Means Committee who fled a meeting to protest Republicans’ handling of bill.
  • Juliet Eilperin, House of Representatives correspondent for the Washington Post. She witnessed the event.

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