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WATCH: Rep. Roger Williams Asks: ‘Yes or No: Are You a Socialist or a Capitalist?’

And he didn't even realize.
roger williams yes or no, roger williams flood insurance

Credit: United States Congress via @DanRiffle/Twitter

A Financial Services Committee hearing on the National Flood Insurance Program Wednesday afternoon may not have captivated the nation as fervently as a certain recent Oversight Committee hearing, but that doesn’t mean it was devoid of riveting moments.

One moment, in particular, was met with laughter by spectators and lawmakers alike.

It started when Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX) began his questioning of the expert witnesses. Williams boasted that he always started with a yes or no question:

“So I’ll start with you, Ms. Lamm: yes or no, are you a Socialist or a Capitalist?”

Spectators began to chuckle. Maria Cox Lamm, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, was visibly confused by Williams’s question. Smirking, she deferred to the next witness in line, but Williams pressed her for an answer.

Lamm responded:

“Am I a Socialist or a Capitalist? Yes or no? Yes.”

The room erupted in laughter and applause. While some of the other witnesses answered with the word Capitalist, others responded “Yes,” laughing at the fact that Williams seemed unaware that his question could not, in fact, be answered with “yes” or “no.”

Watch the hilarious moment below.

People were equal parts tickled and confused.



Others had questions of their own.

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  • Evan Brechtel

    Evan is a writer and editor based in New York. In addition to his work with Second Nexus, he freelan... keep reading