Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was rebuffed in a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee hearing on Tuesday after she accused Republicans of wanting to adjourn the hearing to attend a party.
The subcommittee hearing about fuel-efficient cars and wildfires in California was occurring at the same time as the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in the basement of the Capitol building. Vindman's deposition is a part of the impeachment inquiry being currently led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) motioned to adjourn the hearing, but Democrats did not hold a vote to adjourn until more Democrats joined the hearing.
As they were waiting, Ocasio-Cortez said she did not know why Republicans wanted to leave the hearing.
"And I just want to know what the reason for such disrespect of our process would potentially be. Do we have a reason for why this hearing is trying to be adjourned? Or, you know, do we have just like a cocktail party?" the freshman Democrat asked.
"I have one. I have a real easy one," Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) replied. "The oil industry is the second largest industry in my state. My constituents expect me to be here. We are running an impeachment hearing down in the basement of the Capitol right now...I want to participate in this hearing, but I also feel the need to be in the SCIF because we are only one of three committees that's allowed to be in the room."
Armstrong said while he can do multiple things at one time, he can not be at two places at once.
Ocasio-Cortez then asked if this is the first time Republicans are complaining about the scheduling.
"We've expressed this last week about have two things going on at the same time," Rep. Jim Jordan said. "It's not like we haven't talked about this, but you guys continue to do hearings at the same time there are depositions going on."