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Lawmakers almost come to blows

By Melissa Lambrecht, March 04, 2014

Chelgren-MarkScale  (Des Moines)— Debate in the Iowa Senate got more than a little heated today. The Des Moines Register reports that a heated debate between Senator Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa and Senator Tom Courtney of Burlington got into a bitter argument calling each other liars and moving to the front of the senate podium where they fiercely argued.

Senate Democratic Leader Michael Gronstal and Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix  moved to join them in an attempt to calm the situation.

The argument ensued during a debate over Senate File 2320 a bill relating to providers of medical assistance care.  Chelgren reportedly got personal with Courtney describing a constituent’s experience in trying to contact Courtney regarding an issue.  Courtney stood and responded suggesting Chelgren was known for not being responsive to constituents.  At that point both began insulting each other.

The two men eventually separated and Gonstral called for a Democratic caucus meeting to give everyone a break.

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