Republican Rep. Derrick Van Orden from Wisconsin had some in the Senate clutching their pearls Thursday morning after he allegedly swore at a set of Senate pages in the Capitol’s rotunda.
A page’s report, acquired by a DC media outlet, stated that Van Orden branded the pages “jackasses” and that he didn’t care who they were.
Senate pages are teenagers between the ages of 16 and 17, and they sleep in the rotunda during late-night sessions like the one held Wednesday to modify the National Defense Authorization Act.
According to the page’s report, Van Orden allegedly instructed them to wake the F up and leave immediately.
When Orden asked who they were, one identified them as Senate aides. Orden said he didn’t give a F who they were and told the jackasses to get out.
Later on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) defended the pages on the Senate floor.
When questioned by the media, Van Orden defended his comments.
According to Van Orden, the rotunda of the United States Capitol was utilized as a field hospital for Union troops during the Civil War. Many of these men died while fighting for the Union to eradicate slavery. That area, in his opinion, should be handled with the utmost reverence out of regard for the departed.
In a statement provided to national news, Wisconsin Republican freshman Representative Van Orden justified his alleged behavior by claiming the Capitol rotunda ought not to be treated as a frat house.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer both criticized Van Orden in floor statements Thursday before the Senate left for vacation in August.
The Democrat leader went on to say that he was shocked when he heard about it and more surprised at how he refused to apologize to them. He went on to say that he did not feel that the contempt shown by one member of this body was shared by the rest of the assembly.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Schumer’s sentiments, saying that all Republicans share these views.