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Point of Order

Location: Washington, DC

POINT OF ORDER -- (House of Representatives - May 06, 2004)

Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, parliamentary inquiry.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fossella). For what purpose does the gentleman from California rise?

Mr. FILNER. Do the rules of the House allow personal reference to a candidate running for the presidency of the United States?

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Members may not personally attack a presumptively nominated candidate but may criticize his policies.

Mr. FILNER. The candidate was personally attacked on this floor, and I ask for his words to be taken down.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the words.

The Clerk read as follows:

"Now we are all outraged and saddened by the photos of mistreatment of the Iraqi prisoners we have seen on our television screens. The abusers will be punished. The commanding officers will likely have their careers in ruins, but I just want to caution the leaders on the other side, indeed candidates who are running for the highest office in this land, that this response is reminiscent of the response that a candidate named KERRY 30 years ago had before the Senate committee where he condemned all of our troops in Vietnam. This is not the case of our brave men and women over in Iraq today."

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Fossella). In the opinion of the Chair, while personal attacks on a presumptive candidate are not in order, general references to past statements or positions by such a candidate are not, as with the reported choice of words, necessarily prohibited under the rules.

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