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

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. gerbil

    time to face facts Gomer. Raygunism is failed policy, just as it was when Mr.TaxCutsFixEverything TRIPLED the national debt in 8 years.

    December 6, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  2. Thomas

    How dose Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican do that with his mouth , where did he learn how to do that ?

    And who is the guy behind him thinking real hard ?

    December 6, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  3. Caiha

    Hm... while I agree with the bill, aren't there far more important things congress needs to be doing right now?

    December 6, 2012 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  4. vp

    takes one to know one, Louie.

    December 6, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |

    Louie and the unhinged GOBP tea potty ARE lunatics. 2014 comes quickly.

    December 6, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  6. stephen walkinshaw

    Of course Gohmert doesn't mind the word lunatic, it's is middle name.

    December 6, 2012 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  7. sidprejean

    Before you get too deep into this story, you just know that the phrase, "R-Texas" will appear.

    December 6, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  8. Marie MD

    It's nice to see congress wasting their time on the word "lunatic" which fits so many of them so incredibly well and not care about the disabled (including our veterans) or the looming fiscal cliff as the house went home for a non deserved long vacation.
    The reason gohmert voted against the word is that it fits him to a tee. This guy could be the first resident of the newterman's moon colony!
    What's next trying to blame Acorn for the President "stealing" the election? Wait, Acorn hasn't been around for two years. That's lunacy too.

    December 6, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  9. Don

    Good ole Louie. He knows a lunatic when he sees one. He seesone in the mirror every day.

    December 6, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  10. Bernard Webb

    The irony here is too strong to even bother commenting on.

    December 6, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  11. Al

    Real rich, given he's a bona fide lunatic.

    December 6, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  12. bear

    He does not mind the word because where he is from it equates to being normal.

    December 6, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  13. jwl

    Since Gohmert,is a lunatic, his vote against the term which best describes him was entirely appropriate.

    December 6, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  14. sick of republican phonies

    Well, as a Texan, he has encountered many lunatics- at his rallies, fund raisers, etc...

    December 6, 2012 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. Thomas

    Well,yes Congressman, it would appear that we can still employ the word lunatic occasionally.

    December 6, 2012 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  16. TM

    Having listened to some of the idiocy, nonsense, and tin foil hat conspiracies spoken by Gohmert on the floor of Congress, someone should really tell him that the only time the rest of Washington needs to use that term are those rare occasions that they are talking about him.

    December 6, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  17. Matte

    Of course he would want to keep the term lunatic, it bests describes the GOP.

    December 6, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  18. gina1919

    With all the major issues that need to be dealt with, this is a decision that passes the House???????? No wonder Congress is viewed with such disguse

    December 6, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  19. Texasmike

    Not surprising in the least considering eliminating that word is akin to eliminating Gohmert. Seriously, this man is mentally insane.

    December 6, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  20. onlyfacts

    Gohmert says, "The word lunatic really has application around this town". Yes it does Louie, just go stand in front of a mirror.

    December 6, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  21. An Observer

    Gohmert has a point. The word is needed to describe him!

    December 6, 2012 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  22. Kris

    I remember my grade school teacher saying, "It takes one to know one." This adage applies here, no doubt.

    December 6, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |

    Holding the debt ceiling hostage is not only stupid, it's an act of lunacy!!!

    December 6, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  24. hotpatata

    Hey, I get it. I'd be upset if I could no longer use the words "witty" or "dashingly handsome" at work.

    December 6, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  25. Charles

    Republican from Texas says it all. Next story.

    December 6, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8