Cruz urges vote on resolution to address committee chairman’s conduct

Calls for action following Rep. Metcalfe’s outburst during committee meeting

HARRISBURG, Dec. 8 – Following an outburst during a House committee meeting that was captured on video and has garnered nationwide media attention, state Rep. Angel Cruz is seeking to bring his resolution up for a vote to address the conduct of committee chairmen.

In a letter written to House Speaker Mike Turzai, Majority Leader Dave Reed and Minority Leader Frank Dermody, Cruz expressed outrage over the behavior of state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, Republican chairman of the State Government Committee, and urged that his resolution (H.R. 128) be moved out of the Rules Committee and brought to the full House for a vote.

“Chairman Metcalfe is making a mockery of this great body and further demonstrating that he is unfit to serve as chairman of a committee which has oversight on very important civil rights issues,” said Cruz, D-Phila.

During the State Government Committee meeting on Tuesday, Democratic Chairman Matt Bradford touched Metcalfe’s arm while trying to make a point about a bill being discussed. Metcalfe interrupted Bradford by saying, “Representative Bradford, look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife. I don’t like men, as you might. But stop touching me all the time.” Bradford is married to a woman and has four children.

Cruz said he is calling for movement on his resolution because of this outburst and an instance last session in which Metcalfe prevented a member of his committee from speaking during a meeting and even cut her off when she attempted to talk.

“For quite some time, Chairman Metcalfe has exhibited behavior that is disrespectful to his colleagues in the House and which is, quite frankly, unbecoming of the office he holds,” Cruz said. “I am urging the Speaker to take action to prevent such behavior of committee chairmen in the future.” 

Gov. Tom Wolf has urged Republican state House leaders to consider removing Metcalfe from his committee chairmanship following the comments.