September 14th, 2009
06:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Boehner: I'll vote against any resolution criticizing Wilson

Wilson on Sunday described his loud retort to President Barack Obama's statement that illegal immigrants would not be covered under the Democrats' health-care bill as 'a town hall moment'.
Wilson on Sunday described his loud retort to President Barack Obama's statement that illegal immigrants would not be covered under the Democrats' health-care bill as 'a town hall moment'.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Monday he would vote against any resolution admonishing Rep. Joe Wilson for his outburst during the president's address to Congress on health care last Wednesday.

"Rep. Wilson has apologized to the president, and the president accepted his apology. Last Thursday, Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi said that she believed it was time to move on and discuss health care. I couldn't agree more, and that's why I plan to vote 'no' on this resolution," Boehner said in a written statement.

"Instead of pursuing this type of petty partisanship, we should be working together to lower costs and expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage on behalf of the American people."

House Democratic leaders pledged to move a resolution of disapproval if Wilson failed to apologize on the House floor for breaking rules governing appropriate conduct on the House floor.

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders plan to discuss the resolution at their regular leadership meeting Monday night, but two leadership aides said it's likely to be debated on the floor on Tuesday.

Though most Republicans have agreed it was inappropriate for Wilson to shout "You lie" at the president, several GOP aides told CNN they expect Republicans to oppose the resolution.

One House Republican leadership aide predicted the vote would break down largely on party lines. "The majority of Republicans are expected to vote against the resolution, because at this point it's nothing more than political gamesmanship," said the aide, who spoke anonymously because the vote on the resolution has not been scheduled yet.

Wilson on Sunday described his loud retort to President Barack Obama's statement that illegal immigrants would not be covered under the Democrats' health-care bill as "a town hall moment." But he made it clear he would not apologize on the House floor. "I called immediately, I did apologize, but I believe one apology is sufficient," he said.

Wilson returned to the floor Monday during the time allotted to members to give one-minute give speeches on the topic of their choice. But Wilson spoke about his town hall meetings on health care over the congressional recess and made no mention of his comments last Wednesday night or any apology.

Last week Pelosi called the episode "unfortunate" and told reporters at her weekly news conference, "It's time for us to talk about health care and not Mr. Wilson." But when Pelosi met with Democratic leaders later that day her colleagues argued that unless Wilson apologized on his own they would want a formal vote on a resolution of disapproval, according to several Democratic sources.

"The issue at hand is one of conduct, not speech," one Democratic leadership aide said.

"Congressman Wilson's outburst during the joint session was a breach of decorum and brought discredit to the House. It is common for members to address such breaches themselves rather than force action by the full House. Failure to respond would mean consent for that kind of conduct. In the absence of an apology, the House must act to admonish his behavior. These are the standards members are held to when they take the oath of office," the aide said.

Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa this weekend began circulating a letter among House Republicans urging Wilson not to apologize on the House floor.

The letter states, "We urge that you hold your ground against those who seek partisan advantage and reject all demands for additional redress. When the president of the United States accepts an apology, no observer has an additional claim."

Republican aides said the reaction over Wilson's outburst has given them an opportunity to elevate their concerns about the issue of illegal immigration in the health-care debate.

Looking ahead to Tuesday, one Republican leadership aide predicted, "If there is a debate, you're going to see Republicans talk about policy and not Joe Wilson."


Filed under: Joe Wilson • John Boehner • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Ryan, Council Bluffs

    Seriously, Dumbacrats.... booing the President in 1994 was appropriate if you do it in unison.

    September 14, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Mike, Albany

    Rep. Wilson is a total loser and not worth the effort of censure. House democrats should follow Obama's example and move on. Believe me, Rep. Wilson sank his own career, and you won't be seeing him next term. Let's not make him a martyr for the republican party - he's simply not worth it.

    September 14, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    Joe Wilson is the new Republican leader-guy to watch! Move over, Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber and all you others! A new crazy-mouthed whack job has howled his way into the conservative spotlight, so he's the leader now, and will he make a presidential run? You betcha!

    A Republican just cannot be deluded and loud and rude enough for the conservative base these days.

    Let's rename them The Nutsi Party.

    September 14, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. KTX

    I think the only thing more petty than yelling "You Lie!" to the president is wasting congressional meeting time with a resolution reprimanding a member for something so insignificant. Let's move on, folks. . .

    September 14, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  5. Keith in Austin

    The sanctimony od the Democrats is the height of hypocracy! Wilson has apologized several times already. Get over it and try to do something not detrimental to our Country for a change!

    With the way they conducted themselves re: Bush the lampooning they are putting Wilson through is almost commical! By the way, NoBama DID lie on several topics last week. Time will prove Wilson right. Mark my words.

    September 14, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Gerry

    Congress should stop this nonsense. Are we going to spend this week voting on someone's bad behavior or on health care the economy and etc?

    September 14, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. Deuce

    Barack Obama needs to keep his head down. They love to dish it out, those Democrats. But can't take it when it Boomerangs..

    September 14, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. Joe Wilson is the Ann Coulter of the U.S. House

    The GOP has a Boner for bad manners and rudeness. The GOP is proud of Joe Wilson for disrespecting and dehumanizing the President. The Jerks in the GOP will also be heckled since they like heckling so much. Even if Wilson got everything he wanted in the health care bill he would still vote against it. Wilson is like the class clown in grade school who acts up to get attention from his peers. Wilson made himself famous by rudely interrupting the President so he could fundraise more. Wilson is not apologetic at all he is proud of his misdeed.

    September 14, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  9. Normal in NH

    The principals have resolved this matter. Time to move on.

    September 14, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  10. Deb-Ohio

    "Instead of pursuing this type of petty partisanship, we should be working together to lower costs and expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage on behalf of the American people."

    I agree it's time to move on. Too bad Mr. Boehner does not practice what he preaches.

    September 14, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  11. Va 4 Obama

    Is this news? Boehner and Wilson are both cut from the same Party of No, hypocritical cloth. You can bet if a Democrat had shouted "you lie" at Pres. Bush, Boehner would be OUTRAGED. What a jerk!

    September 14, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. B

    That is a NO Brainer..... Two of a kind!!

    The Republicans are now overrun by these Idiots.

    September 14, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Sue

    Of course he will....republicans can't even come together with democrats to keep the rule of decorum at a joint session of congress. Unbelievable!

    September 14, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. B. Cantrell

    Who expects the hypocrite Boehner the head enabler to criticize Wilson? This gutless negative enabler would be criticizing himself if he did.

    September 14, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Peter

    I think this shows the Republicans never planned to be bipartisan...

    September 14, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. avery

    Would we expect anything less from Boehner? Could he even offer anything less? Don't think so.

    Way to implode, GOP.

    September 14, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Typical Republican Response

    Face it bonehead, you would stand in support of any terrorist. You are a republican after all, the party that has tried to ruin this country since it's inception. Is it any surprise that the first civil war was under the first republican president? I think not. The problem is that they lied then about what the civil war was about, and they lie now. The convinced it was slavery, when it was actually full blown control of peoples free will.

    September 14, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Obama IS a Liar

    Don't play Pelosi's game. She's a partisan schemer with no scruples and no principles.

    September 14, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Not mad

    Until we have leaders who are willing to stand up and comdeme this type of behavior, we will continue to have this type of rude behavior!!!

    September 14, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. Idiot_Pelosi

    Hmmm,
    Can we pass work a resolution condeming Harry Reid for when he called Bush a loser? Can we pass a resolution condeming Bill Clinton for lying under oath to a grand jury? Can we pass a resolution condeming Nancy Pelosi for a bad BOTOX injection?

    Need I go on?

    September 14, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  21. Steph

    Does he get one of the autographed photos of Wilson's outburst? What is wrong with America lately?!?!

    God Bless President Obama. He is showing true class.

    September 14, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. annie s

    John Boehner says we should work together to reform health care. Funniest thing I've heard in days. The obstructionist, hate filled Republicans don't care a whit about health care reform – they care about "breaking" our President.

    September 14, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  23. waltinAZ

    So? Big Thumbs Down!

    September 14, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. Tom B

    if Boehner refuses to admonish someone for not following the rules fo congress, are is he then OK with everybody in the US choosing to follow only the laws they find relevant with no consequences?

    September 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. Tom B

    If Boehner refuses to admonish someone for not following the rules of Congress, is Boehner then OK with everyone in the US choosing to follow only the laws that they find relevant with no consequences?

    September 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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