UPDATE: Rep. Vaillancourt readmitted to chamber after his removal
CONCORD - House Speaker William O'Brien ordered Manchester Republican
Rep. Steve Vaillancourt removed from the House chamber Tuesday during debate over a bill requiring photo identification for voting.
About two hours later, Vaillancourt, after several attempts, apologized to the House and O'Brien for his use of inflammatory language and was allowed back into House chambers.
Vaillancourt challenged O'Brien about a rule he cited earlier in debate prohibiting discussions of committee deliberations during debate on the floor.
O”Brien ordered the Sergeant at Arms to “bring Rep. Vaillancourt to order” and then said another outburst and he would be removed from the chamber.
Vaillancourt then said “Sieg Heil” and O'Brien ordered him removed from the chamber.
Later the House voted 238-103 to allow Vaillancourt back into the chamber if he apologized to the House and the House Speaker.
Several representatives said they were deeply offended by what Vaillancourt said, and one representative said he should be expelled from the House.
Rep. Robert Kingsbury, R-Laconia, said he was a rifleman for Gen. George Patton during World War II and lost many of his colleagues to men who said “Sieg Heil. I believe deep down that what (Vaillancourt said) was a personal, inflammatory and unnecessary insult. He should be expelled from the Legislature.”
But House Minority Leader Speaker Terie Norelli of Portsmouth urged her colleagues to vote down the motion to require Vaillancourt to apologize and instead use the incident as a “teachable moment” to encourage all members of the House to act with decorum, which has not always been the case this year.
When Vaillancourt did speak, he said he never used the word Hitler, as some had suggested, and said he would apologize on his own terms. That caused O'Brien to appoint a committee of Deputy Majority Leader Shawn Jasper, Speaker Pro Gene Chandler and Assistant Majority Leader David Hess to meet with Vaillancourt and report to the chair when he is ready to apologize.
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