Updated: Cannon calls uterus flap 'silly'; Randolph said he wants to call out GOP 'radical agenda'
Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando, has received national attention for an alleged reprimand for saying "uterus" on the House floor.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Dean Cannon dismissed the controversy.
"This is silly," Cannon said. "Number one, I haven't spoken to Scott Randolph in many weeks. And I think one of the reasons he is probably one of the least effective members of the Democratic caucus is he substitutes things that have provocative value or shock value rather than making policy arguments. Not only have I not spoken to him or reprimanded him or had any conversation with him, we have not banned the word uterus from the floor."
Cannon said his job as speaker is to keep floor debate and questions on topic.
The flap started last month during discussion about a bill that would prohibit governments from deducting union dues from a worker's paycheck. Randolph argued during floor debate that Republicans are against regulations except when it comes to the little guys, or serves their specific interests. At one point he suggested that his wife "incorporate her uterus" to stop Republicans from pushing measures that would restrict abortions, saying Republicans wouldn't want to further regulate a Florida business.
Update: Randolph offered up a response to Cannon's charge that he is not effective: "I want to congratulate Dean Cannon on being the most efffecitve legisaltor at destroying the middle class in this country," he said, adding that he himself has been effective at calling out Cannon on the GOP for their "radical agenda."
"He's been effective at attacking the uninsured, the unemployed, the underprivileged and, obviously, the uterus and a woman's right to choose," Randolph said.
Currently about 18 bills restricting abortion are moving through the legisalture.
Although Randolph said Cannon never reprimanded him directly for saying "uterus," a spokemsan for the Democratic caucus said Cannon spoke to Democratic leader Ron Saunders, D-Key West, who delivered the message to Randolph.
Randolph also said he believes his comment was right on topic during the union dues debate and he was trying to point out the "ideology of hypocrisy."
"They're the deregulators. They're the anti-government people. And we're standing there and we're deciding to regulate one partucalar type of membership organization and that's unioins. Just like they want regulate women's bodies," he said. "They're picking and choosing who to regulate. They're the anti-regulation people. They choose to regulate women. They choose to regulate unions. They choose to regulate people's bedrooms. That's what they do."