Area’s congressman clashes with top Democrat in House

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan?Station, an “insignificant person” during a confrontation on the House floor Friday.

Marino took to the House floor in support of a Republican-backed bill to address the U.S.-Mexico border crisis by sending children in the U.S. illegally back home without hearings.

He blasted Democrats, and specifically Pelosi, D-San Francisco, for not addressing the border crisis when in control of the House, Senate and White House five years ago.

“They didn’t have the strength to go after it back then,” said Marino. “But now they are trying to make a political issue out of it.”

In C-SPAN video of his comments, Pelosi can be seen approaching and confronting Marino after the comment, but what she says cannot be heard, according to Wilkes-Barre newspaper Citizens’ Voice.

Marino can be heard arguing, “Yes, it is true. I did the research on it. You might want to try it. … That’s one thing that you don’t do.”

Pelosi reminded Marino that House Democrats “had the courage to pass the DREAM Act” while they had the majority, Pelosi spokeswoman Evangeline George told ABC News after the incident.

Marino later took to Twitter:

“Rep. Pelosi called me an ‘insignificant person’ on the Floor of the House. I’ll ponder that for a while driving to Williamsport tonight,” he tweeted. “Of course I’ll be driving myself, with no staff or security. And I’m just a country lawyer who worked in a bakery until he was 30 … so maybe I am not significant enough to question the former Speaker. But why then did she get so bothered by my comments?”

The House immigration bill passed 223-189 late Friday, backed almost solely by Republicans. Another bill that could lead to deporting more than half a million immigrants whom the Obama administration granted temporary work permits passed 216-192.

Pelosi took to Twitter after the bills passed, too, accusing the House GOP of having “reached a new low with votes to deport DREAMers and unaccompanied children escaping violence. Unconscionable.”