A shouting match erupted on the House floor between Reps. Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) on Tuesday over House Chaplain Rev. Patrick Conroy, who was abruptly fired in April and quickly reinstated by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) earlier this month, according to a Tuesday Politico report.
Crowley, a Catholic, proposed launching a special investigation into the mysterious firing of the Jesuit chaplain, who claimed he had never received a complaint about his work before he was pushed to resign by Ryan’s staff.
MacArthur, an Episcopalian, reportedly walked over to the Democratic side of the chamber and accused Crowley of politicizing a non-political issue, saying that he, a Republican, prays with Conroy. Crowley reportedly gestured angrily at the speaker’s seat, saying that Ryan made it a political issue when he fired Conroy in the first place.
According to Politico, the interaction became so heated that Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) came over to intervene, as bystanders were concerned that the argument would become physical.
Newly reinstated Conroy said his first opening prayer on Monday, calling for a spirit of cooperation and problem-solving to infuse the chamber’s work.