From NBC's Mike Viqueira
You may have heard more than the usual amount of screaming and shouting last night from the House floor, as outraged Republicans staged a walk out after accusing Democrats of robbing them of a legislative victory.
At around 11:00 pm ET, the House was taking a very close vote on a GOP measure that would essentially bar any Agriculture Department monies from being spent to the benefit of illegal immigrants. The Democrat in the speaker's chair, Rep. Mike McNulty, gaveled the vote closed in favor of Democrats when the tally board in the chamber indicated that Republicans had won by one vote -- in which case the Ag spending bill would have been killed until after recess.
Republicans went absolutely bananas, hollering at the top of their lungs and chanting "SHAME!" Of course, the House itself controls the cameras and where they are pointed in the chamber, so all we see it a static shot of the dais. But still, all things considered it was a very raucous caucus. Very few of us have been noticing, but this week has been an especially contentious one and tempers were short to begin with.
So the whole thing has spilled over into today. Republicans claim hypocrisy on the part of Democrats, who had promised not to pull the same kind of procedural hijinks that Republicans themselves pulled during the 12 years they ran the place. As we write, the House is "blue screen" -- in recess -- while the Democratic and Republican leadership meets privately to try and find a way to play nice and get out of here by tonight, so they can start their recess.