Quick Takes

Beshear chides ‘shouting’ in Congress. Was he talking about Comer?

By: - November 16, 2023 6:14 pm

Congressman James Comer speaks during the 143rd Fancy Farm Picnic on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. (Kentucky Lantern photo by Austin Anthony)

Without naming names, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday appeared to criticize Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer of Kentucky for getting into a shouting match earlier this week with a Democratic congressman from Florida.

Beshear was responding to a reporter’s question about whether he had met with state legislators since his reelection last week. The governor said he had taken off a few days to rest, recuperate from an illness and spend time with his family and added that he looked forward to sitting down soon with lawmakers for some “really frank conversations.” The legislature convenes in regular session Jan. 2.

Gov. Andy Beshear on election night with Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, left, and First Lady Britainy Beshear.(Kentucky Lantern photo by Austin Anthony0)

Republican state lawmakers — before and after the election — have criticized Beshear for not communicating with them about his plans. In response, Beshear points to bipartisan legislative accomplishments and on Thursday said “watch for the results.” 

During his weekly media briefing, Beshear also said, “I’m not going to take the bait. I’m going to continue to try to operate in a way that makes people proud.” 

He then pointed to “some of the stuff that we’ve seen in D.C. the last couple of days” as an example of the need to “calm down some of the rhetoric.”

“I mean, we saw a U.S. senator challenge somebody to a fight in a committee meeting. We saw another exchange — shouting between two folks in Congress. That’s the type of stuff that gets most Kentuckians fired at work. And so we ought to be doing better. We ought to be acting better. And while we can’t control what’s going on in D.C. we can certainly control ourselves and what’s going on in Frankfort to not get personal, to not get nasty.”

During a U.S. House committee meeting Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., criticized Comer, chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, for his impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and his family’s business dealings overseas. 

Moskowitz said those hearings have yet to find evidence and slammed Comer for his own business dealings with his brother.

Comer said that when their father died, his brother could not afford to buy the family farm, so Comer bought the land for him.

The conversation became heated, with Comer saying the allegations were “bulls- – -” multiple times, and then drawing attention to Moskowitz’s blue suit.

“You look like a Smurf here just goin’ around with all this stuff,” Comer said.

Eventually, Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume of Maryland quelled the heated exchange and the hearing — airing a controversy over siting the new FBI headquarters in Maryland not Virginia — continued.

Also on Tuesday in Washington, Sen. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, challenged the head of the Teamsters union to a physical fight at a Senate hearing.

At one point, Mullin told Teamsters president Sean O’Brien, “Well, stand your butt up, then.”

“You stand your butt up,” O’Brien said.

Both men rose to their feet. Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, an 82-year-old Vermont independent, intervened, and called for them to sit down.


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Jamie Lucke
Jamie Lucke

Jamie Lucke has more than 40 years of experience as a journalist. Her editorials for the Lexington Herald-Leader won Walker Stone, Sigma Delta Chi and Green Eyeshade awards. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.