We asked last week what U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) was thinking
when Rep. Anthony Weiner
in this video below on the House floor at Republicans in a dispute over a bill that would provide medical care for 9/11 responders. We asked Schrader this burning question because he was pulling "presiding chair" duty in the House when the exchange happened.
And now after multiple exchanges of phone messages, we have the answer from Schrader—"It was a little surprising," Schrader said. "It was challenging to maintain some semblance of order."
And as to who was right in the exchange? "I would argue both sides made some points," he said. "Both sides were wrong in acting like that."
OK. That closes that case.
But since Schrader was on the line, I moved on to asking the freshman congressman what he thought about fellow Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel
of New York and Maxine Waters
of California. Both veteran lawmakers face ethics charges, causing some Democrats to worry
the ethics problems will pose headaches for other Democratic incumbents in their re-election bids. And as a first-term Democrat, Schrader is expected to face a tough re-election this fall.
Schrader said Rangel and Waters are obviously within their rights to be considered innocent until proven guilty. But Schrader said he's surprised both lawmakers are fighting it out at the Ethics Committee.
"I'm not going to speak for the members. But the indictments, if you will, look pretty serious. On the face of it, it doesn't look very good," Schrader said. "I would have assumed they would have stepped down.
"But they're exercising their rights as Americans," he said, "to have a trial by their peers."