In a rare action, the House rebuked one of its members Tuesday for shouting “you lie” at President Obama last Wednesday, ending a week-long standoff during which Democrats demanded a public apology that the lawmaker refused to give.
On a largely party-line vote, the House voted 240 to 179 to ratify a “resolution of disapproval” against Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for interrupting Obama’s speech last week before a joint session of Congress. Just 12 Democrats opposed the resolution against Wilson, while seven Republicans supported the disapproval motion. Five Democrats voted “present,” rather than cast a yes or no vote.
During the hour-long debate, Wilson refused to apologize, saying his private phone call to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was sufficient because Obama himself said the matter was closed the day after his speech.
“It is clear to the American people that there are far more important issues than what we are dealing with now. . . . [Obama] graciously accepted my apology, and this issue is over,” Wilson said in brief remarks.
Wilson said Democrats had “provoked partisanship” through their health-care proposal, which he has called a “government takeover” of private insurance. His interruption of Obama came as the president said illegal immigrants would not benefit from his legislation, a point of sharp contention among Democrats and some Republicans.
But House Democrats responded that Wilson’s call to a presidential aide was insufficient because he had violated chamber rules forbidding such remarks directed at colleagues or the president. “This is about the rules of this House and reprehensible conduct,” said House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), who led the effort to rebuke Wilson.
Read the entire piece at the Washington Post