Thursday, March 25, 2010

This is classy: Texas Republican says he shouted 'baby killer' during House health reform debate

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Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer acknowledged Monday that he is the lawmaker who shouted out "baby killer" during a floor speech by Rep. Bart Stupak, an anti-abortion Democrat whose vote was crucial to passing the Democratic health care bill Sunday evening.

Neugebauer, who has represented a solidly GOP district that includes the city of Lubbock since 2003, said he had apologized to Stupak for his outburst, which drew a rebuke from the chair during the often-rowdy debate.

"Those that are shouting out are out of order," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who was presiding in the chair at the time.

Neugebauer insisted in a statement that he was not referring directly to Stupak but to the agreement that the Michigan Democrat helped work out with the White House. That eleventh-hour agreement, under which President Barack Obama said he would issue an executive order pledging that no federal funds be used for abortions, helped seal the last votes Democrats needed to pass the bill.

He said his exact words, referring to that agreement, were "it's a baby killer."

"While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself," he said.

But Neugebauer also acknowledged that the House chamber "is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate."

Neugebauer is one of the House's most conservative members, consistently speaking out about the need for lower taxes and smaller government. Last year he co-sponsored a resolution requiring that presidential candidates produce copies of their birth certificates. That followed "birther" movement allegations that Obama was born outside the United States and not qualified to be president.

In an interview Monday with Fox News, Stupak lamented the prevalence over the past year of "uncivilized behavior" when lawmakers are trying to speak on the House floor. "We can disagree on these issues as we should and we should have a meaningful debate but personal attacks have no place on it."

Later, talking to MSNBC, Stupak said he accepted Neugebauer's apology but questioned the Texas Republican's claim that it was not personal. "I certainly took it as a personal attack on me," Stupak said. If not, "maybe Randy needs to apologize to the House of Representatives."

The outburst was reminiscent of last September when another GOP conservative, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, yelled out "you lie" when Obama was addressing Congress on the health care issue. He also issued an apology.

Unlike that incident, Wilson was quickly identified by reporters covering the speech. This time, it was not immediately known who did the shouting and it was nearly a day before Neugebauer came forward.

In Wilson's case, the House on a mainly party line vote passed a resolution of disapproval formally criticizing him for violating basic rules of decorum and civility.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., asked Monday about Neugebauer, noted that he had apologized.

"He shouldn't have done it. ... I don't think further action is needed," Hoyer said.

Neugebauer's "baby killer" shout came at the end of a day of passionate and often vitriolic speeches on both sides of the health care issue. There were also tea party movement protests against the health care bill in which some demonstrators used racial slurs against black members of Congress and reportedly spit at one black lawmaker.



a couple of thoughts regarding this post. First of all what does this have to do with this blog's stated purpose which is to cover the news in the Hoffman and Keng and surrounding area? If you want to talk about politics and your personal opinions you should create a personal blog (randy o's blog )or else label it as an opinion piece not news. Second off all why I agree that his outburst was issued at an inappropriate time his words are true. The health care bill as passed will result in the largest expansion of abortion in the history of the USA and our tax dollars will be used to pay for it,. The so called executive order that Pres Ombama signed is just a smokescreen and not worth the paper it written on it because it will have no affect at all the contents of the bill. Does anyone seriously think that a pro abortion administration would even give such an order the time of day? For more info visit the Nat right to Life website.

Hoffman Tribune said...

I hope you are never in a situation where your insurance provider cancels your coverage because you're a "bad risk" .... and I've been adding political stuff on this blog since the beginning. It's nothing new.