Canadian comedian Stephen Colbert who plays an exaggerated version of Bill O’Reilly nightly on cable channel Comedy Central is currently testifying before a House Judiciary subcommitte on farm labor and it’s as preposterous as you might expect.
Michigan Democrat John Conyers, one of the House’s most liberal members, was not amused by the fake conservative’s in-character presence and immediately asked Colbert to leave almost immediately after he sat down:
Colbert, however, did not budge, saying that he was present at the invitation of the hearing chair, US Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California. But Colbert said if Lofgren wanted him to leave, he would.
Lofgren said she wanted him to stay, and a good portion of Capitol Hill was glued to broadcasts of the hearing.
Later on, Colbert was asked by Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson-Lee about his opinion of large-scale immigration and whether it’s necessary.
“We need to grasp the bull by the horns and go mano a –however you say the Spanish word for mano,” Colbert replied saying that he thought there were too many illegal Mexican workers in the U.S.
The hearings are currently being broadcast live on CSPAN3 and can be viewed online.
Other members of the subcommittee are using the higher-profile nature of the hearing to elevate issues that haven’t gotten much publicity. Republican Dan Lungren at around 11:10 ET used the beginning portion of his remarks to remind Lungren that House Democrats had scheduled only 10 seconds to vote on an amendment he’d offered to eliminate the highly unpopular 1099 provision of Obamacare which requires businesses to file tax forms for every vendor from whom they purchase more than $600 worth of goods.