SENATE FIGHT: Lawmakers Almost Come To Blows

Things heated up at the Iowa Statehouse as two lawmakers nearly came to blows on the senate floor.

Ottumwa Republican Mark Chelgren had a question for Burlington Democrat Tom Courtney. So, he asked him to stand up for a question.

The Senate’s cameras were rolling.

Both have been getting a lot of calls about Senate File 2320, a bill to clarify payments for caregivers through Medicaid.

Chelgren accused Courtney of talking too political when answering those phone calls.

“When you put your own political interests above the interests of the country or the citizens of the state, it’s wrong,” Sen. Chelgren said.

Those words lit Courtney’s fuse.

Courtesy Des Moines Register

Courtesy Des Moines Register

The senate cameras didn’t follow the senators to the bench where a senator who’s also a Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy is presiding.

Courtney screamed out “you son of a gun.” They both called each other liars.

The senate’s top Democrat yelled for them to cool it and had his arms on Courtney to settle down.

It was tense. Spectators said they thought fists would fly.

When the senate cameras came back on, leaders decide it was time for timeout.

Both senators later apologized to colleagues for losing their cool.


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