Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) took to the House floor Tuesday to announce to his colleagues just how unpopular they all are.
Delivering an epic speech about Congress' withering reputation in the eyes of Americans and the world at large, Grayson -- attempting to assert privilege under Rule IX -- called for a vote on a resolution that said that Congress' "dignity" had been "offended" by the government shutdown.
"The government shutdown is a mark upon the dignity of the House, and the House should be willing to pass a clean continuing resolution to end it," he said.
To illustrate this point, Grayson cited negative international media reports before launching into an impassioned reading of the arguably jaw-dropping results from a recent Public Policy Polling survey about Congress' popularity among voters.
"A national poll asked the following questions: What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or witches? Congress, 32 percent; witches, 46 percent," Grayson said, referring to the poll. "What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or hemorrhoids? Congress, 31 percent; hemorrhoids, 53 percent. What do you have a higher opinion of, Congress or dog poop? Congress 40 percent; dog poop 47 percent."
Speaker pro tempore Steve Womack (R-Ark.) was not amused by Grayson's long description of Congress' fall from grace and interrupted the congressman on several occasions to sternly warn him to confine "his remarks as to whether or not the resolution is privileged under Rule IX."
But that wasn't enough to stop Grayson.
"Rule IX of the rules of the House of Representatives provides members with a mechanism through which to address those times when the dignity of the house has been harmed and called into question," Grayson responded, seemingly unperturbed by Womack's agitation.
He later added:
If dignity means what the dictionary says it means -- the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect -- then surely the honor and respect of this house has been called into question. When only seven out of 100 Americans approve of what we do, the lowest approval rating ever, then surely our dignity has been diminished and is actively being called into question.
If we are to be called obstructionists, practicers of partisan petulance, if we are to be called an establishment that is rotten to the core, if we are leaving Americans wondering why there is so much poison in the system, then surely our dignity as a body has been diminished. If we’re accused of willingly provoking crises that suspend public services and decrease economic growth, then surely our dignity as a body has been diminished.
At this point, a frustrated Womack gaveled for Grayson to suspend his remarks, and despite the congressman's protests, he was forced to stop speaking. As Raw Story points out, Grayson's resolution was ultimately not privileged, and he did not get his vote.
Watch Grayson's powerful speech in the video above.
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