By Pete Kasperowicz - 12/21/11 10:14 AM ET
House Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt Wednesday to call up the Senate payroll tax bill by quickly gaveling the day's pro forma session to a close.
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) presided over the brief session, and after the Pledge of Allegiance closed the session and said the next pro forma would be on Friday. As Fitzpatrick gaveled the session closed, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) asked to be recognized to speak, but Fitzpatrick did not recognize him. Hoyer loudly protested the move as Fitzpatrick walked out of the House.
"You're walking out, you're walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class taxpayers, the unemployed and … those who will be seeking medical assistance from their doctors.
"We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing the issue of critical importance to this country," he added