A LAWMAKER’S thunderstruck facial expressions spoke volumes as a colleague rolled out of bed while an official virtual committee budget meeting was underway.
Ranking Member Kat Cammack of Florida covered her slack-jawed mouth while cringing as the New Jersey colleague Rep. Donald Payne stumble out of a disheveled bed during an official virtual budget meeting – and for a beat stood up to show off his blue boxer shorts and a Captain America T-shirt.
Every other lawmaker appeared to be dressed in formal attire with the Stars and Stripes behind them and didn’t seem to notice Payne’s up close and personal greeting as Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York read aloud from prepared remarks.
The meeting also featured testimony delivered by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
Payne ultimately disappeared from the camera frame, and rejoined the proceeding just as Sec. Mayorkas was fielding questions.
But Payne had changed his attire, and was seen dressed in a shirt and tie; however his bed in the background remained unmade.
A spokesman for Payne verified that the congressman was the sleepyhead on the Zoom video with the Marvel superhero themed getup which aired on C-SPAN3 on Thursday morning, according to Breitbart News.
Congressman Payne’s office offered a statement in response to his wakeup performance while signed on to the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security to discuss the Fiscal Year 2022
It reads: “As a public servant, my focus has always been the public good and my work to better the lives of my constituents and all Americans, regardless of the circumstances.”
The incident was shared and summarily panned by fellow colleagues across the aisle.
Republicans Rep. Beth Van Duyne of Texas and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida pounced on the casual lawmaker’s approach to doing the peoples’ business.
Gaetz tweeted the hashtag: “#congressionalzoomfails.”
Rep. Beth Van Duyne of Texas posted the video below the caption: “Another reason Democrats should get off Zoom and back to work.
“That’s one way to “rise and seek recognition” I suppose,” GOP Whip Brett Horn of Louisiana opined.
Joel Prylin, superintendent of the Kiryas School District in upstate New York, posted on Twitter in response to the video writing: “It’s long past time to get dressed and go to the office. Especially our elected officials.”
Back in March, Payne was caught napping on camera while the Aviation Subcommittee convened over Zoom, according to Fox News.
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A Payne staffer Sam Morgante defended against the criticism and accused others of body shaming.
“Hey Congresswoman, Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Legislative Director here. It’s no secret that as a diabetic the Congressman has his weight struggles. But we try to stick to policy here in Congress,” Morgante reportedly posted on Twitter, Fox News reported.
The tweet appeared to have been scrubbed.
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