AUGUSTA, Maine — A Republican lawmaker had an outburst on the floor of the Maine House on Wednesday, calling the speaker a “weasel” before being walked out of the chamber by his colleagues and apologizing for his actions later in the day.
Rep. Sheldon Hanington, R-Lincoln, expressed anger Wednesday on the last scheduled day of the legislative session, saying lawmakers weren’t doing enough to help veterans as lawmakers debated asylum seekers’ aid.
The Army veteran said he was tired of lawmakers “wrapping themselves in the flag.” House Speaker Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, warned Hanington against impugning lawmakers.
Hanington then asked to speak in her office. When Gideon stayed put, Hanington strode up to Gideon and shouted at her before fellow Republican lawmakers intervened.
Lawmakers took a break, and Gideon said “emotions are high.” A spokesperson for Gideon as well as one for House Republicans did not respond to a request for comment, but Hanington apologized to Gideon and his colleagues in the evening.
“I respect you, Madam Speaker, and each member in this body as my colleagues,” he said. “I hope you are able to accept my apology and ask you … for forgiveness.”
BDN writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.