(FOX NEWS) — Democratic lawmakers exchanged testy words with their Republican counterparts at a House hearing Thursday that intensified the debate over President Obama’s recent mandate on contraception. One Democrat even called into question the good faith of the broad array of clergymen who served on the witness panel.

“I believe today’s hearing is a sham,” said Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., of the first of two session held by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee during the day. His tone sharp and finger pointed, Connolly went on to declare the witnesses — who included a Catholic bishop, a Lutheran reverend, an Orthodox rabbi, and two Baptist theologians, all opposed to the administration’s recent ruling — “complicit” in the Republicans’ “trampling” of House traditions that would, if observed, have produced a more balanced panel.

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