During the meeting, Democratic state Rep. Matt Bradford of Montgomery County was discussing a bill on land use when he gently ― and very briefly ― laid a hand on Metcalfe's arm.
"Representative Bradford", said Metcalfe, cutting off Bradford. Don't - stop touching me all the time! "Keep your hands to yourself", Metcalfe said to raucous laughter from his colleagues. If you want to touch somebody, there are people on your side of the aisle that might like it.
"We are officially off the rails", Bradford said with a smirk to the assembled panel before telling a stone-faced Metcalfe, "My intent was just to beg for your permission for about 30 seconds".
"I don't." Metcalfe said.
Metcalfe said in an interview that he meant to draw attention to unwanted touching from Bradford, who he said has touched his arm or shoulder often in meetings in recent months despite his telling Bradford to stop.
Metcalfe tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that Bradford has been "continually" reaching out and touching him for months.
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As Bradford and others were laughing, Metcalfe was not amused.
State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) apparently does not like to be touched during committee hearings.
Rep. Brian Sims, an openly gay member of Pennsylvania House State Government Committee, issued a statement on his Facebook page, calling Metcalfe "the most homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, xenophobic member of our government".
Ryan Briggs, a political reporter for City and State PA, tweeted that Metcalfe had also "once invited a white nationalist to testify in favor of a bill to make English PA's "official language".
Metcalfe, 55, has represented Pennsylvania's 12th district since 1999. "This is a government of 'We the People, ' and we the people are not done with this fight", Metcalfe said. "For years Metcalfe has taken policy positions based on bigoted misconceptions and fear of minority groups and the LGBT community, but today he has gone beyond the pale".
An unusual encounter between two PA lawmakers during a committee hearing got, you could say, "touchy". I mean we're going back and forth in a hearing.