In one corner: Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat representing California's 35th District since 1991. In the other corner: Rep. David Obey, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, representing Wisconsin's 7th District since 1969. Both are 70 years old but Obey clearly had a height and weight advantage in this battle.
The two House icons got into a heated battle June 24 over an earmark Waters was seeking. According to The Hill: "Waters and Obey have had an ongoing dispute about an earmark for a public school employment training center in Los Angeles that was named after Waters when she was a state representative.Obey rejected that earmark as violating policies against so-called 'monuments to me.' Waters revised her request to go to the school district’s whole adult employment training program, so the district could decide whether the money would go to the school named after Waters.Thursday was the committee markup of the spending bill that would include the earmark, and Obey let it be known that the earmark would be denied. She approached him and complained."
And for the details of the incident: "After the House floor had largely cleared following a series of votes, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) split apart from a heated conversation and began yelling at one another.'You’re out of line,' Waters shot while walking down toward the well. 'You’re out of line,' Obey shot back before turning and walking away. But then Obey stopped, turned back toward Waters, and shouted: 'I’m not going to approve that earmark!' Obey turned away, but Waters went to go huddle with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. She could be over heard telling them: 'He touched me first.' Waters was escorted by her colleagues into the cloakroom." (However, other witnesses claim that Waters shoved Obey first).
Politico has an update on the situation: "Waters spokesman Michael Levin called to say that the center -- which provides a wide array of health care, automotive, GED and job preparedness training programs -- was named after Waters before she entered the House by LA school officials. The program Levin said, serves hundreds of low-income people a year and is located near four housing projects with sky-high unemployment rates. Waters' funding request is needed to keep the center going, he added, because may of the centers' state grants are on the chopping block, a result of the California's staggering deficit."
This doesn't happen on the House floor everyday. At least it didn't end like the Preston Brooks-Charles Sumner battle in 1856.
I haven't found a video on the incident yet but am still looking. If anyone has a link, please put it in the comments.