Tempers flared Wednesday between House Speaker Charles McCall and outspoken state Rep. Cory Williams, D-Stillwater.
As lawmakers began voting on a Republican plan to raise taxes from cigarettes, beer and motor fuel sales, McCall made his way to the House press gallery.
The gallery is up a narrow flight of stairs, well above the House floor. McCall, R-Atoka, stepped in front of rows of news cameras that were filming the proceedings. Williams, who frequently antagonizes Republicans both in the House and on social media, followed closely behind.
"This plan not only addresses the immediate issue and budget hole we're dealt with, but it also puts us on a firm footing going into next session," McCall told reporters.
From the hallway, Williams interrupted.
"That's not entirely true. Doesn't it result in cuts, Mr. Speaker?" Williams asked.
McCall seemed visibly shaken, and after a few more back-and-forth comments, invited Williams to finish the discussion in his office.
As the speaker finished his news conference and walked past Williams in the narrow hallway, the two had one more exchange.
“You’re delusional if this passes,” Williams said.
“You guys need to support this,” McCall said. “This is bull----.”
“I’m glad you think so – so does most of Oklahoma,” Williams replied.
The bill didn't get the 76 votes it needed to pass, leaving lawmakers back where they began and with no revenue deal in sight.