Tempers Flare Between Two Iowa Senators

Two state senators had a heated exchange today during debate of a bill that eventually passed without a dissenting vote.



Senator Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, and Democratic Senator Tom Courtney of Burlington each accused the other of ignoring the interests of constituents. Chelgren got things started with this:



Courtney then accused Chelgren of ignoring phone messages. Chelgren started yelling and Courtney yelled right back.

As the two men were called away from the microphones to talk privately in the center of the senate, Courtney called Chelgren a “lying son of a gun” and Chelgren shot back with similar complaints. The senate’s floor leader then had Democrats meet in private, essentially separating the two parties and letting tempers cool.

The Senate debated and passed four bills before taking a 25-minute lunch break.