A tense hearing over border detention practices erupted into a shouting match between former Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., as Homan grew frustrated in his attempts to defend his former agency.
Jayapal, the vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee, repeatedly cut off Homan for exceeding his allotted time. It started when the former ICE director responded to a previous statement Jayapal made about the Trump administration’s use of funding for additional detention beds.
“I’d like to remind you, under the Obama administration we did that most of the years he was president,” Homan said. “I don’t remember any hearings on that.” He also pointed out that under Obama, when there had been a surge at the border, “Congress was quick to give us all the money we needed.”
The exchange escalated from there, as Jayapal explained that one member of Congress was able to go beyond their time with the consent of the ranking member after a protester interrupted.
“Please respect the chair’s authority,” Jayapal said. As Homan began to respond, she slammed the gavel again and yelled, “Mr. Homan!”
“You work for me!” Homan fired back. “I’m a taxpayer. I’m a taxpayer, you work for me.”
Jayapal herself was called out for speaking out of turn at the end of the hearing. When she began delivering a statement before bringing the proceeding to a close, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., told her to end the hearing. – READ MORE