Lone vote cast for keeping term 'lunatic' in federal law
December 5th, 2012
07:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Lone vote cast for keeping term 'lunatic' in federal law

(CNN) - The U.S. House passed a bill Wednesday to do away with the word "lunatic" in federal law with a sole congressman voting against the measure, insisting in Washington the word still has an application.

Three hundred ninety-eight congressmen voted in favor of passing the bill. Thirty two did not vote and one, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, voted against the measure, which passed the Senate in May with no opposition.

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The House voted on the bill, aimed at modernizing language referring to the mentally ill, Wednesday morning, just as Congress was leaving for a long weekend and ahead of the looming "fiscal cliff."

"I don't have a problem with lunatic being used in the federal law and apparently I was the only one on the floor here that didn't have a problem using the term lunatic," Gohmert said, in a speech on the House floor criticizing the Obama administration’s budget proposal.

"In fact, in occurred to me, that not only should we not use the term lunatic at a time when we are facing national bankruptcy if we don't get serious about our issues but we should also use the term to identify those who want to continue doing business as usual around this town."

Lawmakers and the public's frustration boils as Washington's continues to show its inability to reach common ground to avoid the fiscal cliff - a series of tax hikes and spending cuts set to go into effect at the beginning of the year if a deal is not struck between the opposing demands of the White House and congressional Republicans.

Gohmert chided President Barack Obama's administration for their opposition to extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2% of earners. Democrats paint the Republicans as holding middle-class incomes hostage for maintaining the Bush-era rates be extended for income of all levels. For their part, Republicans argue for closing loopholes and tax deductions to generate revenue to tame the nation's growing debt as well as reform for the tax code and entitlement programs.

Gohmert reiterated the GOP sentiment, saying wealthy people like Warren Buffett can still use the loopholes and deductions while the middle-income earners cannot.

"That's why we shouldn't eliminate the word lunatic. It really has application around this town," he said.


Filed under: Louie Gohmert
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    The word "lunatic" applies to the extreme fringe element of the GOP/Tea Party known for their ignorance, hate, and intolerance.

    December 5, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. John

    You like the word lunatic?.....................I rule that it should be used to define you , hence from now on and forever more you are designated to be.............(drumroll).....................Louie the Lunatic.............................

    December 5, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. Willie T.

    Takes a lunatic to know a lunatic.

    December 5, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  4. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Wow. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Louie Gohmert definitely fills the bill of "Lunatic". Then again, I guess someone had to take over Strom Thurmond's task of making sure no bill passes with no dissent.

    December 5, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. trex

    .......I agree. I mean.........how else would you describe the T Party.............

    December 5, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. Zmam

    Isn't there something more important on the agenda?

    December 5, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. Thomas

    How else would we describe Congress?

    December 5, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    Now THAT'S what I call exquisite grandstanding. His reason for keeping the word "lunatic" had nothing to do with the bill; it just provided him an opportunity to deliver another anti-Obama rant.

    Not surprisingly, he's a GOPher from Texas. What is it with you people, seriously? There's the enclave of sanity in Austin, and then there's the, well, lunatics in the rest of that vast expanse.

    December 5, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    People have become too fearful of words.

    December 5, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Louie Gohmert / Paul Ryan 2016.

    The best and the brightest !

    December 5, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. Dan

    We should keep an outdated term about mental infirmity so we can use it to describe the views of the majority of Americans? Way to reach across the aisle.

    December 5, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Yonni

    Texas main export must be "lunatic" people to the rest of the state

    December 5, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. GOP IS LOST

    Go figure. Maybe, we should let them leave the union just to see how long it takes for Spanish to become the official language of Mexico's latest province of Te'has!

    December 5, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. JEA

    Why am I not surprised it was Gohmert?

    December 5, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. krowbar

    Who else but Louie "they want to put condoms on horses" Gomert would be against sensible language in our laws.

    December 5, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  16. Common sense grandma

    This is just too hilarious. Of course Gohmert does not want to eliminate the word lunatic. It is his password as well as his defining trait. We should keep the word but set it aside for his sole usage.

    December 5, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. J100409

    When someone is called a "lunatic" enough, apparently he will want the word to stay in the law.

    December 5, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  18. wwf

    And you are one of them.

    December 5, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. ItsAMirage

    Yes yes. Because the fiscal cliff is NOT AS IMPORTANT as this bill. Good job Dems and Reps!!!!!

    December 5, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. America First, Party Second

    Good, red meat eating lunatic from Texas voted to keep "lunatic".

    December 5, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  21. Seattle11

    The word lunatic certainly describes Rep. Gohmert.

    December 5, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. GonzoinHouston

    Lunatic Louie strikes again!

    December 5, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  23. Paul Falduto

    I agree with Gohmert, we should keep that word around in Washington, it describes him just right.

    December 5, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. Stentor

    We definitely know it applies specifically to you Louie Gohmert, one of the biggest lunatics in Congress, or the House of Representatives.

    December 5, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  25. Former Republican, now an Independent

    It seems that the word fits Gohmert perfectly. What is scary is the fact that he is one of many neo-fascist in his party.

    December 5, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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