'Young lady.' Congressman slammed for demeaning 51-year-old female rep on floor of US House


More out-of-touch Republican men talking down to Democratic women.

After listening to her Republican colleague belittle her for not knowing “a damn thing” about the issue up for debate in the House of Representatives Thursday night, and after the male Republican dismissively referred to her as “young lady” on the floor of the House, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) had heard enough.

"The gentleman has already impugned my motives by saying that I don't 'know a damn thing' about what I'm talking about and he's now called me 'young lady,'" Jayapal interjected and demanded that Rep. Don Young’s words be taken down.

Jayapal’s forceful rebuke of Young’s stunning breach of protocol drew cheers on Twitter:


The flashpoint unfolded as Young was offering an amendment regarding wildlife management on national preserves in his state of Alaska. Jayapal spoke in opposition. Young then started lecturing the 51-year-old Jayapal, who has an MBA from Northwestern University.

“I rarely do this but I’m deeply disappointed by the good lady from Washington—doesn’t know a damn thing what she’s talking about,” said Young, as he glared across the aisle at Jayapal. “What you said a while ago was really nonsense. It was written by an interest group, not yourself. Maybe your staff is affiliated with the Humane Society or some other group. And I'm disappointed."

He added, “I am really disturbed. You may not know me, young lady, but I’m deeply disturbed.” (Young later apologized to Jayapal.)

Members of Congress are supposed to abide to strict codes of conduct while speaking on the floor of the House and the Senate. Young clearly violated two of them by contemptuously impugning Jayapal's motives and addressing her in a non-professional manner.

A Member should avoid impugning the motives of another Member, the Senate, the Vice President or the President, using offensive language, or uttering words that are otherwise deemed unparliamentary.

Members should not address their colleagues by name on the House Floor. They are “the Gentleman from California,” or “the Gentleman from California, Mr. Jones" or “the Gentlewoman from Florida,” or “the Gentlewoman from Florida, Mrs. Smith."

Republicans in the House seem to be eager to tear up long-standing rules and traditions. On Thursday night, aside from being insulted on the House floor, Jayapal took part in a Democratic walk-out of the House Judiciary Committee.

That was sparked when Republican members silenced Democrats who introduced a resolution of inquiry into Trump’s ties to Russia. Worse, Republicans then proposed re-investigating conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s emails.