November 6th, 2009
03:35 PM ET
9 years ago

Congressmen exchange partisan jabs over the Yankees

New York Rep. Eliot Engel shows some home town pride.

New York Rep. Eliot Engel shows some home town pride.

Washington (CNN) - New York Democratic congressman took to the House floor Friday morning to congratulate the New York Yankees for winning the World Series. But the discourse quickly turned to partisan attacks.

Democrat Reps. Eliot Engel and Edolphus Towns began the accolades. Engle, who lives in the Bronx, wore a Yankee cap, calling it "a symbol of unity." He said, "I know it is violating rules to put a hat on, but I am going to do it for just two seconds because I think it is really important that I put this on...In Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in the Middle East wherever we go we see people wearing Yankee hats."

But Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz wanted to talk about health care and not baseball. "While the Democrats want to talk baseball we want to talk about health care," he said. "While the New York Yankees are winning the World Series the American families are striking out."

New York Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano fired back at Chaffetz. Serrano accused the Republican of turning the World Series into a partisan issue. "Americans celebrate success and I am positive that there is not a single American in this country, except for some in this House, who would think that what we are doing today is wrong."

Serrano added, "This weekend we will deal with the biggest issue of our times."

Health care or Yankees, New York Democrat Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez took another position.

"I just would like for the record to reflect the fact that I am a Mets fan," she said.

Filed under: Congress • New York
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Shane in RI

    How can anyone support the yankees or baseball. No enforsable salary cap and there all on steroids! Baseball has long been replaced as Americas pastine by the more honorable sport of football.

    November 6, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Marie Laveaux

    Republicans...the grinches that stole Christmas.

    November 6, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. kas

    Anyone who is not a Yankee fan is simply a sorry loser...period. Don't like it? TOO BAD.

    November 6, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    Sadly, Engel is my congressman. What an idiot. Didn't even have the guts to have a town hall last summer to discuss health care reform. One less democrat in congress next year.

    November 6, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Bridgette-PA

    "While the Democrats want to talk baseball we want to talk about health care," he said. "While the New York Yankees are winning the World Series the American families are striking out."

    The Democrat puts a Yankees cap on for 10 seconds and the Republican makes these remarks....WOW! The desperation has become full circle.

    November 6, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Melissa

    This is bloody childish and idiotic. On all sides. Congress needs to grow up and stop acting like brats.

    November 6, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. tata mcgee

    Why is CNN not reporting on the raid on the Obama/ACORN offices in New Orleans ? Rahm got your tongue ? A sitting U.S. president could be just months from going to jail and CNN is ignoring it.

    November 6, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Tom

    Unknown to the Representative Chaffetz, baseball is part of our American culture. Serrano's response was right on the mark. Though we are going through hard times, I disagree with the Utah Republicans that we can't take time to be proud Americans. Hypocrites like Chaffetz call the Democrats Anti-American, but then spit on our traditions.

    November 6, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Frozone

    Republicans are a national joke.

    November 6, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Dar

    Nothing wrong with having a little fun at work as long as the work gets done.

    November 6, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. Carnell From The Motor City!

    This Is Really HypocriCNN Stooping To The Lowest Common Denominator Of Journalism...GET REAL!

    November 6, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. DSW

    Seriously – a Republican wants to talk about healthcare – they had 8 years to do that???
    It's probably just to spout off more lies.
    And who is at fault for American families "stricking out" – THE REPUBS!
    How much money have "We the People" paid for a war that the Repugs got us into.
    To all the Pro-Lifers & Religious nuts jobs – how many young men & women has died because of this war?
    How much money have "We the People" paid to high ranking, wealthy – banks, insurance and car companies???
    But when it comes to helping out everyday American familes due a cost that each of us needs/wants (healthcoverage) it costs too much to make it a reasonable?
    I just don't get it.

    November 6, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Hannibal Lector

    That's what you get with the kind of people running our government now-a-days. They're not interested in getting a job done. Only in what might turn a dime for them. They blast Palin and don't even have a reason why. Condemn her from quitting the Governors 's office when their ridicule made her want to get out of the limelife. I will be so glad when the jungle beaters are put in their place and Palin is President of the United States I can't wait. At least whether we have partisanship or not will not matter for the Republicans will rule all houses.

    November 6, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. gt

    get to work and stop acting like a 9 yr old

    November 6, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. DSW

    It's not like the politicians in D.C. don't have time for fun – playing away from home (C-STREET!!!).

    November 6, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. no longer a democrat

    symbol of unity??

    more insanity......

    November 6, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    OH!!? Now the reps want to talk about health care? Are you sure you wouldn't rather fling some childish insults around, or take some statement or policy out of context, wrap it in blatant lies and scream about it? Frankly, I don't care what you want anymore.

    November 6, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Dave

    I swear that we have a bunch of idiots running our country. It conjures up images of two little kids bickering, "Is too" "Is not" "Is TOO!" "Is NOT!" How anything ever gets done, I have no idea. You politicians just play your juvenile game of politics instead of your jobs. When will we ever get competent, REAL people to run our government?

    November 6, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Michael


    This country can't wait "months" for this president to go to jail...he needs to be gone yeesterday!!!

    Helath Care...get real...Like we don't have enough gov in our life already! Do you really want more? More gov is for people that are basically too lazy!

    If there is one thing this administration's freedom!

    November 6, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. shmeckel

    I agree with supporting your team. I agree with wanting to get to work. I do not understand how this made the news.

    November 6, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. FancySmiley from Conyers, GA

    These folks need to lighten up. Goodness gracious.

    November 6, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. New Father

    How many democrats under investigation for ethic violation, 7.3 million jobs lost since the democrat controled congress began passes there green law trash in 2007. Unemployment is at a 25 year high, debt highest since WWII. Wait a minute this is all Bush after the Prez writes the laws right and is in charge of spending right. . Unemployment at 10.2 % keep spending it will work eventually. After all why would anyone trust the American people with more of their on money.

    November 6, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. republicans hate america

    the rush limbaugh party has ignored health care for 8 years and now they complain about a 2 second kudos on the floor?

    November 6, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. debbie

    Republicans are purely idiots. I happened to catch a little of the parade in New York today. The last time the Yankees won a championship and had a parade, the Twin Towers stood intact. New York has been through a LOT since that last championship, and the statement "all is now right with the world" that I have seen, seems to make sense from that perspective. It's almost like healing for New York. So I understand what this Congressman meant, and am NOT surprised that petty, narrow-minded Republican nitwits begrudge that feeling of unity or closure. I used to take special care to research candidates and vote my conscience, not party, but those days are over. It will be a very cold day in hell before I cast my vote for a Republican candidate.

    November 6, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. dee

    Seriously, a Republican wants to "talk" about healthcare? Was that a joke? How long does it take to say "No"?

    I see nothing wrong with them having a "light' moment...maybe if the GOP took the sticks out, they'd be a little looser and more able to do some work instead of being able to pick a cherry up by the stem....

    November 6, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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