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 indy

    First of ALL Obama was lying , so he should be called out. Secondly Obama will be treated with the same respect you small democrats showed President Bush for 8 yrs, which was Zero. What comes around goes around. Stop crying , you people personally attacked Bush on a daily basis and you expect Republicans to worship this Loser,,,,ha, ha that is funny. Isnt Karma a beautiful thing, and thank you Nancy and Dirty Harry for waking up this country and reviving the Republican party. I love it when the Democrats are in denial and say the Republican party is over???? Are you people insane, Democrats just won their second presidental election in the last 30 yrs. And in 2010 your one term loser President will get beat and you will give the house back in congress. Democrats are great you can just sit back and watch them self-destruct......

    September 14, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    What needs to be considered is the idea that the man broke the rules on the House by directly calling the president a liar. That needs some response from the House. If it has been booing or hissing; it is disrepectful, but it isn't challenging what the president said. To assume that the president is lying to the Congress boarders on treason to me - it isn't but close. No Democrat ever shouted out clear words during George W(oman) Bush's speeches, did they? Boo and hiss maybe but never calling him a liar during the speech.

    September 14, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. why is a resolution necessary?

    vote the clown out of office

    September 14, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. rightsaid

    Just let it go. The republicans have a lot more to answer for than this!

    Under GWB, we became a poorer nation. Financially and morally.

    September 14, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. Moosehead

    One idiot, defending another idiot. Seems like the republican party has been hijacked by the Dark Side, vicious and sinister. This development should not be trivialized or easily dismissed,.. as these are dangerous people,.. the likes of Joe Wilson, Sarah Palin, Mark Williams and Jim Demint.

    September 14, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  6. Mary

    This is the South, what do you expect from Boehner or Canter. They are doing what the people elected them to do. Ruin Obama. CNN needs to ask more questions and cover the news. Bush and the Reps are the ones that lied and will do anything to keep the lies flowing and so would CNN.

    September 14, 2009 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  7. Scott

    This is beyond stupid that this continues to be "News" or any time is wasted on it. Democrats, I vote for you. Grow up.

    September 14, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. Bill Davis

    Yeah, so what. Boehner isn't exactly a poster child when it comes to proper behavior and class. Him and Wilson are just a couple hacks trying to get some air-time.

    Bill D
    Champaign, IL

    September 14, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. Reformer

    Another partisan, corrupt Republican. He'd swindle his mother out of her life savings if it would benefit his greedy Republican party.

    September 14, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  10. Debbie

    Just as I will not be satisfied and feel justice has been served until Wilson apologizes to the American people; I am not surprised in the least Boehner, would vote no. Boehner always votes no. Boehner by not voting against Wilson shows he is arrogant and feels Wilson is above the rules of the House and not accountable to the American people.

    September 14, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. L Bailes

    It's obvious that Wilson does not regret what he did and he probably never will. He is too radical in his views to even consider he might have been wrong. So much for civility in Congress. If it isn't possible in Congress, then where in America?

    September 14, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  12. PAUL W.

    Of course you will. You are as classless and dishonorable as he is. Why would anyone expect you to do the right thing. After all, who would know you were a Republican if you did?

    September 14, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Boorish, loud, uncouth American -thanks for keeping our country cool. Is that what your mother taught you? Even you sanctimonious jack asses must understand manners. I suspect your mother must be quite disappointed. I know I am ashamed to be represented by likes of you and your bad manners. Grow up, learn the rhetoric of politics and speak like an intellectual leader, not a 2 year old. Fondly,
    A fan of civil discourse

    September 14, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. Celia Kane

    Boorish, loud, uncouth American -thanks for keeping our country cool. Is that what your mother taught you? Even you sanctimonious jack asses must understand manners. I suspect your mother must be quite disappointed. I know I am ashamed to be represented by likes of you and your bad manners. Grow up, learn the rhetoric of politics and speak like an intellectual leader, not a 2 year old. Fondly,
    A fan of civil discourse

    September 14, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  15. foxrun

    This is CNN reporting on something that has the legs of a dead horse to stand on. They are so desperate for news coverage that they can't let go of Wilson's leg. How funny is that!

    September 14, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. Alan from rural Illinois

    Rep. Wilson's conduct was unbecoming an "Honorable Gentleman from South Carolina" or any state; it was offensive to the whole population of the US. He should apologize to the whole US via the House. If he was honorable or a gentleman, he would do so without being asked. And, as for the politics of the matter, until he apologizes to the House he will be seen as the mouth piece of the GOP. No one will want to hear what Republicans might offer to reform healthcare while he continues to hold the spotlight with his refusal to act in an appropriate manner.

    September 14, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Ryan Wing

    Democrats need to stop playing victims and fix health care. Come on guys.

    September 14, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  18. james

    At first I thought, as I think Pelosi and other democrats did, that Wilson was sincere in his apology. However, after seeing him on Fox news and other places trying to raise money off of the event, and basically brushing off his immature, stupid behavior, I believe he is not really sincere. This I believe is what is causing Pelosi and others to think again about letting this jerk off the hook.

    September 14, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Chad

    This is exactly why Congress has a 20% approval rating. Who cares about a resolution against Wilson, what good will that do? Get to work and stop with the petty nonsense!

    September 14, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  20. Farrell in Houston

    What can one expect from two people that look like brothers and both have the stinch of hate.

    September 14, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. xargaw

    Well of course Boehner will. He is just as pathetic.

    September 14, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  22. The e is silent

    I'll vote for you to have some substance. Get a life.

    September 14, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  23. Lauren

    Of course you will boehner, you lack decorm and civility just like wilson. You are a screaming, yelling, republican who distorts the truth and tells lies just like those who demonstrated this weekend. All of you republicans should be ashamed of yourselves. This is America, and America is for all races not just white people.

    September 14, 2009 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  24. jm from sc

    Actually, Wilson only apologized because he was told to do so. I think President Obama accepted in out of kindness, but he knows as well as most of america knows that this man had intentions of discrediting him. Republicans has been using that illegal immigrant clause to scare people for months now.

    Most republicans agree with what wilson did. That's why we are in the condition wer are currently in.

    September 14, 2009 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  25. Amazed

    Apologizing is not a punishment to break the House rules.

    At the minimum, his attendance to future joint House sessions should be revoked.

    September 14, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
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