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Hoyer calls GOP leader a 'coward' over DHS debate

WASHINGTON -- In an exchange that underscored the partisan rancor surrounding the debate over Homeland Security funding, Rep. Steny Hoyer was heard calling a top GOP official a "coward" on the House floor on Thursday.

The comment by the Southern Maryland lawmaker and No. 2 Democrat in the House was picked up by an open C-SPAN microphone during an exchange with Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader. The two were clashing over legislation to avoid a Homeland Security shutdown.

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"We have been now… six weeks leaving the Department of Homeland Security twisting in the wind," Hoyer said on the floor.

"This House has taken action to make sure that DHS is fully [funded]. We did our part, and I yield back," McCarthy responded.

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"You coward," Hoyer can be heard saying on the microphone.

A Hoyer spokeswoman confirmed that the congressman offered an apology to McCarthy.

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