Washington Times
November 18, 1995

Shove-and-shout fray hits House

By Laurie Kellman

As if the budget fight isn't providing Capitol Hill with enough action, a shoving match broke out last night on the House floor between two Democrats and two Republicans.

"I feel terrible," Rep. James P. Moran Jr., Virginia Democrat, said in an interview later. "We just had a talk, and we understand each other better now."

His opponent in the scuffle, Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, refused comment.

After Mr. Cunningham failed to have Mr. Moran's words stricken from the record during the House floor debate on sending troops to Bosnia, Mr. Moran privately asked the California Republican to step outside.

Though Mr. Cunningham balked, the two men moved toward a double door on the Republican side of the chamber. From behind, Mr. Moran shoved Mr. Cunningham through the doors, first with one hand, then with two.

Enter Rep. Bob Dornan, California Republican and presidential candidate, who burst through the doors.

"Get your Irish ass outta here," Mr. Moran quoted Mr. Dornan as saying.

Before Mr. Moran could respond, Rep. George Miller, California Democrat, burst through the doors and tried to protect Mr. Moran. More than a dozen police officers descended on the fray and restrained Mr. Dornan.

"If I made a reference to Irish, it was a term of endearment," Mr. Dornan said later, noting that he is of Irish descent. "That was a reference to temper - Irish temper."

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, later ushered Mr. Moran into the Republican Cloakroom to talk with Mr. Cunningham.

"We agreed that we are both very emotional," Mr. Moran said. "He shared with me some personal experiences that I was not aware of."

"Everyone is smiling now," Mr. Dornan said.

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