WASHINGTON -- In the final moments of debate in the House yesterday afternoon over President Bush's veto of a temporary spending bill, Representative Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., appeared at the House podium in a tuxedo and gray silk bow tie.
The House erupted in bipartisan applause at his appearance.
"Today my firstborn is to be married at 5 o'clock," Mr. Dellums told the House at 4:35 p.m.
Marriage is an act of hope and love, he said, but "the veto is an act of cynicism. . . . Cut off this debate and let me vote.
"Let's override this veto and let me love my son."
As debate resumed, presiding officer John P. Murtha, D-Pa., interrupted: "Mr. Dellums is serious. The more time we waste, the less time he has to get to the church."
Both sides agreed to cease debate. Mr. Dellums voted immediately at 4:45 p.m. and raced from the House chamber.