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Hoyer scolds GOP for weekend actions but doesn't want Neugebauer apology

By Ben Pershing
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that he thought Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Tex.) had apologized sufficiently for yelling "baby killer" at Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) on the House floor, but he suggested that other behavior by Republicans over the weekend "was clearly out of order" and worthy of condemnation.

Neugebauer acknowledged Monday that he had shouted during Sunday's debate. Democrats, and many onlookers, heard him calling Stupak "baby killer," but Neugebauer said that he had yelled, "It's a baby-killer!" in reference to the health-care bill, not Stupak. Nevertheless, he apologized to Stupak personally and in a letter sent to Democratic leaders.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that he thought Neugebauer should make a public apology on the House floor, but Hoyer indicated that he didn't believe such a step was necessary.

"He has apologized, and indicated that he undermined the decorum [of the House], and he apologized to the institution itself," Hoyer said. "I don't think we need to carry it further."

Neugebauer's behavior Sunday reminded many in the House of Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-S.C.) outburst in September, when the South Carolinian yelled "You lie!" at President Obama as he addressed a joint session of Congress. In that case, Democrats -- led by Clyburn and Hoyer -- pushed for Wilson to apologize on the floor after he had already apologized privately to the White House. When Wilson refused, the House voted to admonish him.

Hoyer doesn't want to follow that example now. But that doesn't mean he's letting Neugebauer's fellow Republicans off the hook.

Hours before the outburst, a few GOP lawmakers on the House floor cheered as a pair of protesters yelled "Kill the Bill" from the visitor's gallery. Some Republicans also held signs carrying the same message on the balcony on the south side of the Capitol, waving to the cheering anti-reform crowd below. And on Saturday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus reported that people in the crowd shouted racial epithets at them.

Hoyer connected all of those incidents, suggesting that Republicans' "inflammatory" rhetoric against the health-care bill "has led not only to some very harsh behavior by demonstrators here, relating particularly to minority members, but also to some clearly out-of-order conduct on the floor of the House of Representatives.

"I was disappointed some demonstrators in the gallery menaced and tried to disrupt our proceedings in the House. A couple of members got up and cheered them on. ... That's inconsistent, in my opinion, with how we ought to conduct ourselves," Hoyer said.

The leader reiterated the point later Tuesday, saying, "Members of Congress ought not to act like some people act at town meetings. That is not good for our democracy. It is not good for the civility of our democracy, and it is not a good lesson for those who are watching us who may not have the restraint that hopefully adults ... have."

Stupak said on CNN's "Larry King Live" Monday night that he didn't "buy" Neugebauer's description of his outburst. Stupak said the words "were very clear on the floor."

Hoyer said he wasn't sure: "Most of us -- we didn't hear the 'it's'. He says he said 'it's,' we take him at his word."

Either way, Hoyer warned that more such incidents could have dire consequences down the road.

"We have seen violent acts committed in this country based upon differences of opinion, and we ought to all be very careful as leaders of this country to conduct ourselves in a way that demonstrates to the public how we ought to act," he said.

By Ben Pershing  |  March 23, 2010; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

What gets me about the claims that the majority were against the bill assumes there is a direct democracy in the US. It is not, thank goodness, it is a representative democracy. We elected representatives to make policy and to not bend with every poll. Our voice is heard by voting, we did, and the representatives with the most votes passed a bill. So what is wrong with that?

There was no hidden agenda during the election, the Democratic party openly stated a high priority would be to fix a devastatingly broken medical system in the US. The majority of voters agreed.
They are just doing the job we sent them to do.

The big losers in this are republicans who were so sure they could do what their lobbyists directed them to do, and Fox was also a big loser. They used more tools of propaganda to defeat any fair health policy than has been unleashed in any country against any policy. 24 hours a day they screamed how if it passed we would be a communist country, there would be death panels, all our rights taken away, it was a government take over of 1/6th of the economy etc.
Ask a Fox low information citizen to explain just how having what every other democracy among developed countries is turning the US into a communist country? Or how setting up reasonable regulations on the behavior of insurance companies(who sent millions of dollars directly to the republican senators and congressmen who where out to stop any health reform)is a government take over of health care?
The greatest threat to the survival of the US is not Islamic extremists, it is the lying of media and corporations for the sake of power and greed. I've never heard such propaganda that was outright lies as during this fiasco. There is a large portion of the population that is really susceptible to outrageous propaganda due to lack of education and critical thinking skills. That is the segment that keeps Fox ratings up, they believe anything told to them, the more illogical and unsupportable by facts the more likely to get that portion of the population riled up.
A lie repeated often enough becomes truth to many people. Fox knows they are lying, the republican politicians (except for truly ignorant such as Palin and Bachmann)know they are lying and will continue as long as the checks keep coming.
The adults have to step up and challenge the hysterical tea-baggers and Beck viewers when they mindlessly repeat what they were told without any supporting evidence.
Obama hopefully will have learned by now that there is no possibility to be bipartisan from the beginning of his term. He has assumed they were resisting based on good faith disagreement but now he has learned only firm agenda is to destroy his presidency and the country if need be in the process.

Posted by: km6xz | March 24, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

I think Hoyer, Clyburn, Pelosi all the Democrats owe an apology to the American people for not following the Constitution of the United States & voting for a minority of the people instead of the majority. This is the biggest insult for people who voted for all these jerks who have forgot that they work for us, we do not work for them. They get to keep their good insurance but the people that they are suppose to work for are being force on a rationed, government run plan. Somebody in all those Democrats should have a conscience & feel bad about what they have done. But as you can see they feel great for destroying others lives.

Posted by: egw7777 | March 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Republicans have fallen into the trap of thinking that a few loud shouts means that the public in general are supporting them, so louder shouts mean that even more people support them. But what they don't realize is that the shouting is coming from a very loud and very small minority. These outraged few are only about 7% of the population, while their own base and the center looks on in horror at the breach of decorum that is not only tolerated but encouraged by Party elite.

Far from predictions of the "fall" of the Democratic party in November, if displays like this are not kept in check, reasonable Republicans will be staying away from the polls in droves because they do not want to be associated with a party of thugs and miscreants.

Posted by: lurkitty | March 24, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Interesting to watch the Party of NO, the Party of the MISINFORMED, the Party of FOX NOISE evolve in the party of HATE.

Oh wait, it's not evolution at all. These folks have been around a long time. They fought Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights Amendment, integration, school busing, affirmative action, Title IX, women in the workforce, and so on. The same gang, the same sorry thinking.

The only things these folks are for are guns in every pickup, their religion in your school, their rule over your reproductive rights. Their heroine is Sarah Palin, a dunce, a sad joke, a mindless twit whose inability to form a sentence appeals to her audience because she is one of them.

Beware! these people also call themselves Republicans.

Posted by: joachim1 | March 24, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

A large majority of Americans voted for President Obama and think he is making the best of an impossible situation with this destructive Republican Party. This is supposed to be democracy…One person (actually one dollar, thanks to the Republicans) one vote. The angry Radical Right is losing ground and acting like a cornered raccoon. As for the unprofessional outbursts… the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Posted by: shredder1 | March 24, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse


I applaud the gentleman from Texas. He spoke the truth when he declared "It's a baby killer!"

Perhaps some of you are lacking in knowlege concerning the practice of Partial Birth Abortions. If you are unaware of the procedure, you might want to increase your knowlege on the subject. It was sanctioned by our President while he was a Senator and there is nothing which has been offered into public record that I am aware of at present that he has changed his views on this subject.

In fact, he is the only Senator to vote agains the "Child Protection Act" which Act declared that if a child is born alive in a failed abortion procedure, that the abortionist can not kill the baby.

Prior to the "Child Protection Act" this was allowed and was performed many, many times. Perhaps you would classify this as "murder", but those who promote widespread abortion in search of financial gain would disagree with your conclusion.

I ask you, why do we, as a society allow the shedding of the blood of the innocent, and allow murderer's to live on Death Row for 15-17 years, if and when they are convicted?

Reminds me of the story of Christ, when Pontius Pilot asked the mob gathered about his judgement seat, who shall I pardon, Jesus, an innocent man, or Barabas, a convicted killer. The mob cried out Barabas! Give us Barabas! You suffer innocent blood to be shed,over 50 million and counting, while this society suffers a murderer to live! What a shameful indictment against the people of this nation and the nation itself!

Posted by: Jordan48 | March 24, 2010 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division. That's all Republicans have to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 24, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Truth cuts more deeply than lies.
One should not apologize when speaking the truth.

Posted by: sonoflibertypaulrevere | March 23, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Neugebauer is a typical hypocrite. He is against abortion and women’s rights on abortion. Yet, he is not willing to do anything for the pathetic rate of infant mortality in the United States. Just check the CIA site for infant mortality and life expectancy by country.

Posted by: lynnlm | March 23, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Neugebauer is a typical hypocrite. He is against abortion and women’s rights on abortion. Yet, he is not willing to do anything for the pathetic rate of infant mortality in the United States. Just check the CIA site for infant mortality and life expectancy by country.

Posted by: lynnlm | March 23, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

mac7: They are not fit, but unfortunately they are elected. And who is electing them? Angry, ignorant, single-minded people or perhaps some of thier constituents just don't pay enough attention to know better. Take you pick. Either way...moments in de-evolution.

Posted by: PleaseChange | March 23, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

jhr1

Thanks for saying out loud what many tea baggers are quietly wishing. Please say it louder and more often. Americans deserve to know the true face of the right.

Posted by: archaeoman | March 23, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Clearly he is right and these people do not belong in their seats in the senate and not fitting to represent a dog let alone people. This is terrible behavior they are displaying and it is more liken to the behavior of hate groups.

Posted by: mac7 | March 23, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

hz9604: I have to agree with that. It really is a lot of noise that only pulls people away from the important stuff. Problem here is I believe that is the intent. To distract and fule anger. Still, I seriously doubt history will be kind to GW and as far as the rhetoric here about Clinton, I voted for him and, although I disagreed with some of what he did, he is a genious. Too bad his personal life took over his public life and we all got scr'd with him.

Posted by: PleaseChange | March 23, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Hoyer - welcome to democracy buddy. And pardon people for being impassioned about their government especially forced government.

Republicans are no more responsible for the actions of private citizens than Democrats are.

My stance is that after what was said about Bush, I couldn't care less what gets said about Democrats.
.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Also, not to go too off topic, but the bombing of the fed building, I believe, had a lot to do with the angry militia mentality, but Timothy James McVeigh was on the fringe on that movement. Few people are aware that he visited Area 54 a week before the bombing and had been in contact with people who believe the government had been infiltrated by aliens. He thought he had a chip in his head. In reality, he was a very ill kid/man who had a giant chip on his shoulder.

Posted by: PleaseChange | March 23, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

to426: Perhaps they're not paying attention right now, but jhr1 is not being inflammatory, just plain old silly. He's baiting and we're biting. If we stop talking to him, he will go away.

Posted by: PleaseChange | March 23, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

In modern times, right wing dictatorships are shorter than left wing dictatorships like Obamas. Franco shorter than Stalin, Pinochet shorter than the Shah of Iran, Castro still in power. So I'll take my chances.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post - are you listening to this? The blogosphere is an ugly place...

Posted by: to426 | March 23, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

jhr1: Are you out of your mind? Are you aware of what happens in a military coup? No one is safe - not even you. Obama is the best President I've ever had the privilege to vote for. And, he's just the kind of guy who would swat away Neugebauer like a fly. Cooler heads will prevail ;-)

Posted by: PleaseChange | March 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Go get your lunch. Judging from your comments, it is probably government-provided.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I get the feeling that the GOP is going to get smoked in 2010 again and this time it will have like 38 senators and 155 representatives. Every time they have their chance, they overplay their hand. It reminds me of a guy playing poker who has a full house. It's a good hand but there are quite a few that beat it.

They had an opportunity to shape the health care reform package by working with Obama. Instead, they fought every single thing he did. The final package still is quite modest, with no public plan and somewhat generous subsidies. But, let's hope the House and Senate leaders focus on energy and other job creating initiatives next.

Posted by: teoandchive | March 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

How can I compete with such repartee? I actually did fight for my country, which it sounds like is more than I can say for you. It's been real, and it's been fun, but it aint been real fun. Lunch is over gotta go. Ta Ta.

Posted by: akcoins | March 23, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Look a**hole, you swore to uphold the constitution, just like I did. Only difference, I'm willing to do it.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Spoken like a true chicken hawk.

Posted by: akcoins | March 23, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

You had your say. It just doesn't matter is all.

Posted by: akcoins | March 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

akcoins, its never too late. Give it your best shot, if you ever learned to shoot.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Wrong, I believe I just had my say.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

jhr1, You are still the minority, and the majority rules. So you have no say in the matter.

Posted by: akcoins | March 23, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

akcoins, you're right, it is unfortunate that you served. Weakened the unit.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Article one, Sections 8 and 9 provide for the defense of the county under special circumstances. so, as I've said, let's arrest 'em, try 'em, convict 'em and execute 'em.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

jhr1, As a veteran I do not think it is right to call for the take over of a constitutionally elected government. The majority voted for change, and that is what we are getting. The vocal minority can scream all they want. They are still a minority. Unfortunately I served so you could spout your idiotic drivel.

Posted by: akcoins | March 23, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Look at one of the comments above calling for a miliary 'coup' of our government and for what reason, a health care reform ban starting with the requirement that companies can't refuse someone insurance for a pre-existing condition. It is sad that so many of our citizens form their opinions from rhetoric mostly based on lies and distortions. The hatred spewing from the extreme right reminds me of the hate speak in the early 1990s against President Clinton and what was one end result of that hate speak, the Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The health care reform bill contained provisions advocated by the Richard Nixon, Bob Dole, and other 'radical' leaders. The only reason the Republicans fought the bill was to gain votes from angry citizens. And, too many people believe the lies and vote against their own best interests. I can't wait to see how the right is going to attach financial reforms.

Posted by: anne15 | March 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

nothing abusive about it, perfectly legal.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Abuse report
How much more abusive does one have to get than jhr1 before the Washington Post filters out his/her postings?

Posted by: NotRepug | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Aw man, @jhr1 got drool all over the doorknob to this thread. Anyway, these GOP histrionics have got to stop. They just cannot handle it when the American people vote them out of office so they turn to nasty rhetoric and violence to make the point that.... well, I don't know what point they're trying to make, other than they don't feel anyone else is entitled to be in charge. They impeached the last Democratic president... will they go even lower this time?

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

What is "clearly out of order" is passing a wrong minded bill that is against the constitution and against the will of the American people.

Posted by: jkhamlin | March 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

It is time for the U.S. military to seize control of the government, arrest Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid et al, try Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid et al, convict obama, Biden Pelosi, Reid et al, execute Obama, Biden Pelosi, Reis et al, then return the country to the American people.

Posted by: jhr1 | March 23, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

A couple of important points on the Neugebauer “shout out”. Republicans learned the quickest way to garner contributions is the “shout out”. Wilson “you lie” actually increased his contributions when a formal apology was required. I hope Neugebauer gets enough money on the first effort so he doesn’t need to repeat the performance. This will be the new litmus test for American intelligence: How long will it take before the American people stop donating to anyone that “shouts out”? Sadly, I am afraid this tactic will continue to work for quite some time.

Posted by: NewThoughts | March 23, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hereing an apology from Congressman Neugebauer is a joke. The Republicans in Congress do this kind of thing constantly. If they didn't mean to be rotten, low-down, bigoted, jerks, they wouldn't do it.

Posted by: miesque | March 23, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

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