WASHINGTON (AP) — A stranger screamed at and grabbed U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, who has been a vocal advocate for delaying the rollout of the federal health care law, as he walked to the Capitol to vote on legislation, his office said Thursday. He wasn’t harmed.
The Wisconsin Republican’s office said in an email that he reported the incident to police as required by U.S. House security procedures but asked for no further action and has no comment on what happened.
Duffy’s spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message asking whether the incident was related to the government shutdown.
A professional lumberjack who appeared on MTV’s “The Real World” in the 1990s, Duffy voted for legislation that would have avoided a government shutdown but halted the implementation of the federal health care law. When some GOP leaders appeared resigned to the law going into effect, Duffy tweeted that they “refuse to fight. Wave white flag and surrender.”
Duffy has said that he did not want the federal government to close but he felt it was crucial to at least delay the implementation. He has noted provisions in the health care law related to businesses were postponed by a year.
“We’re just saying let’s treat middle-class families the same way you’re treating big businesses,” he told Fox News before the shutdown.
Duffy later said he would not be paid while the government was closed.
“I’ve sent a letter to the CAO, asking them to withhold my pay. As everyone goes through the pain of a government shutdown, we should include members of congress,” he told WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wis.
U.S. Capitol Police confirmed the agency was investigating an assault on a member of Congress but did not provide details.
Duffy, who was first elected in 2010, represents a sprawling district that covers mostly rural northwestern Wisconsin. He is married to Rachel Campos-Duffy, who is a “Real World” cast member from a different season.
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