Video of memorial service for Lantos

Video of this morning’s memorial service in the U.S. Capitol for Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, can be viewed here; you’ll need Real Player to view it.

It’s very touching throughout, but if you want to see Bono’s a cappella performance, it’s about one hour and 10 minutes in.

UPDATE @ 11:45 A.M. THURSDAY: This from CQ Politics

Feb. 14, 2008 – 1:42 p.m.
Partisan Dustup Mars Lantos Memorial Service

A solemn Statuary Hall memorial service for House Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos, D-Calif., was interrupted Thursday by bells calling members to the floor to vote, triggering an angry partisan wrangle.

The memorial for Lantos, a highly respected 14-term House veteran and the only Holocaust survivor ever to serve in Congress, became entangled with the two partisan issues of the day — a debate over electronic eavesdropping rules and a Democratic effort to hold White House officials in contempt of Congress.

The Democratic efforts and the Republicans’ procedural vote counter-punch had been planned in advance, but the choreography was thrown off by the timing of the bells, infuriating both sides.

“If there’s anyone in Congress who doesn’t deserve to have it happen to him, it’s Chairman Lantos,” said Rep. Jason Altmire , D-Pa. “Everyone was so shocked it happened to him.’’

“It was completely disrespectful and inappropriate,’’ said Brendan Daly, Speaker Nancy Pelosi ’s spokesman. Pelosi, along with Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer , D-Md., spoke at the service for Lantos, who died Monday of esophageal cancer.

Republicans said they had warned Democrats that when they brought up the Judiciary Committee’s contempt resolution against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former counsel Harriet Miers they would protest by moving to adjourn.

Republicans said they thought they had an agreement with the Democratic leadership not to start regular House business until after the conclusion of the Lantos service.

Instead, the service was still in progress when the House went back into session.

Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart , R-Fla., a GOP member of the Rules Committee, raced back to the chamber, followed his party’s plan and moved to adjourn.

“It was most disturbing that the bells rang. The House was going back into session,’’ he said later. “I’m very, very sorry that the day had to begin in that ultimately unfortunate fashion.”

The roll call on the GOP motion was held open for almost an hour to wait for the service to wrap up so members could get to the chamber.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.