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Rep. Stevens ruled out of order during yelling spree

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Wearing pink latex gloves, U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, was ruled out of order during a Friday speech on the House floor about the $2.2 trillion relief package to help workers and businesses in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Stevens' speech started out normally. Then, as she ran out of her allotted time of one minute, she began shouting her remarks, requested 30 more seconds and mentioned the gloves she was wearing.

U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Rochester Hills, was ruled out of order during a speech on the House floor about the coronavirus relief package on Friday, March 27, 2020.

Stevens yelled she was wearing the gloves "not for personal attention." The fellow Democratic lawmaker running the House proceedings repeatedly struck his gavel.

“I rise before you adorning these latex gloves not for personal attention, not for personal attention but to encourage you to take this disease seriously," Stevens said. "I rise for every American who is scared right now."

"The gentle lady is out of order," said Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Maryland, who was presiding over the chamber for the debate.

Eventually, Stevens was granted 30 more seconds to speak at the request of House Majority Leader U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland. Stevens continued but some of what she said was indecipherable because of the commotion on the floor.She appeared to say medical professionals would be "pushed" and would see  "darkness."

"Our country loves you to our doctors and our nurses," Stevens continued

The freshman lawmaker added that she wore the gloves "to tell every American not to be afraid."

Stevens was eventually ruled out of order. Her microphone was cut, and Brown's gavel rang out repeatedly.

"The gentle lady from Michigan is no longer recognized," Brown said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, was smiling, and Stevens sat down next to her for a minute afterward, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported on Twitter.

Republicans quickly jumped on Stevens' speech.

"Haley Stevens has repeatedly proven she lacks the temperament to lead,” said Calvin Moore, communications director for the GOP super political action committee Congressional Leadership Fund. "In this crisis, Americans are already fearful for their lives and livelihoods. The last thing they need is the kind of unhinged conduct that has marked Haley Stevens’ entire time in Congress."

Stevens won Michigan's 11th District seat in 2018, which had been held by Republicans. She is up for re-election in November.

The day before her Friday speech, Stevens tweeted that she had "so many words ringing from my heart for my constituents right now." 

"I can’t wait to represent you #MI11 at this critical moment for our nation," she wrote. "See you tomorrow with bells and latex gloves on."

This isn’t the first time that Stevens has gotten attention for public comments.

An October 2019 town hall on curbing gun violence turned contentious as protesters at the Commerce Township gun club, where the event was held interrupted Stevens and other lawmakers, some of whom repeatedly shouted “NRA” in reference to the National Rifle Association.

At one point, Stevens responded, “This is why the NRA has got to go.”

Staff Writer Melissa Nann Burke contributed

cmauger@detroitnews.com