Chuck Gray responds to insults from Rep. Steve Harshman in special session

Rep. Chuck Gray posted a video statement on his social media pages on Wednesday in which he addressed comments made by Rep. Steve Harshman during last week’s special session.

On Thursday October 28, Harshman was recorded on a “hot mic”, cursing Rep. Gray after Gray proposed an amendment to House Bill 1001, in an attempt to stop the Biden administration’s employer’s vaccine mandate.

Harshman was participating in the remote session and was recorded hurling an insult at Representative Gray, along with various swear words.

Rep Scott Clem shared the moment on his Facebook page.

Former House Speaker Steve Harshman desecrated the Capitol using foul language to seemingly slander to attack Rep. Gray Chuck (who does a great job defending your freedom from the Biden vaccine mandate for that matter), “Clem wrote.” It was a hot mic moment for Harshman. The worst part is that he did it in the middle of a public sitting in the People’s House. It is appalling and totally unacceptable. “

Harshman then apologized for his comments. He spoke in person at the start of the sitting of the House.

“Members of the 66th, I came down this morning to apologize to all of you as a group and body and our staff and in particular to Representative Gray,” Harshman said. “What happened yesterday was misconduct on the floor of this House and that is not acceptable. I come here to apologize.

“Attending remotely yesterday, as a kind of debate passion that we all know, I walked away from my computer, thought the audio was on and whispered to myself degrading curses for Representative Gray . And so these vulgar words were then broadcast on this floor. And, so it’s a violation of decorum on this floor and we all work hard to keep that decorum. And so I apologize. It’s wrong and I know better than that.

House Speaker Eric Barlow berated Harshman and said he had broken conduct in three different cases:

  • Address the body without the president’s permission
  • Invoke the name of another member
  • Using inappropriate language in the House

As a result, Barlow told Harshman that he could no longer virtually participate in the special session.

Originally, Representative John Bear planned to file a motion to censor Representative Harshman, but has since decided not to do so, according to the Casper Star Tribune.

Representative Gray released a statement on the situation on Wednesday.

“I wanted to talk a bit about Rep Harshman’s comments from last week,” Gray said. “They were totally inappropriate and I wanted to explain a bit why they happened, because there is a larger story here about what has happened in the House several times and I think it is very disturbing.”

Gray went on to state that “Last Thursday we had a debate on the issue of federal preemption. And [House] Bill 1001 contains that statement, and it is still there; declaring that the bill disappears if a federal mandate is ever in place. And I think it’s very disturbing. I mean, a federal mandate is clearly unconstitutional, outside of the powers given to the federal government in the Constitution of the United States. It is also clearly an unconstitutional delegation of authority from Congress to the executive. It is simply unconstitutional in many ways.

“For this state bill to have this declaration, for the bill to go away if there is a federal mandate, and just to admit that the federal government is preempting (which is wrong; they don’t )… The media can pretend they’re doing whatever they want, but that’s not true because it’s not constitutional action. So having that statement in there that the bill goes away with the federal mandate is very disturbing … it was not necessary and it was wrong.

“And so I made an amendment to discuss it. I think it was important that we try to delete it, delete it and have this discussion, and then I called for a recorded vote. Now, amendments are not recorded votes, which concerns me very much. I have been troubled by this since I became a member. I think this is an important question, I have asked for a recorded vote, and there is a lot of members who don’t like it. And that was the context for the bad comments. I think there is a bigger story here. It just shows that this reaction to the recorded votes [is] Totally wrong. Members of Parliament should be formally informed of matters referred to the legislature. We need accountability. I have asked for recorded votes in the past, I have asked for it there, and I stand by it because it is important that the members of the legislature be officially declared.

“So I was very confused by the comments. I think it was very unfortunate.”

K2 Radio News has contacted Representative Gray via email, but so far there has been no response. We will update this story accordingly.

The full video of Representative Gray’s comments is available below.

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