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.

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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. KC Yankee

    @only facts

    I hear you, friend. I'll keep you in my prayers (so to speak). I lived for years in Alabama. Nothing wrong with a lot of the people down there, but when I finally got back to civilization I did stand on a Connecticut mountaintop and shout "Free at last! Free at last!"

    December 6, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. ncgh

    This is CRITICAL. If we don't remove 'lunatic' from Federal law IMMEDIATELY the whole government will go into fiscal collapse... we can't let that happen!!!!

    oh, wait...

    December 6, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. rs

    As long as there are Republicans in elected office, there WILL be lunatics!

    December 6, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. felix

    Glad that our reps are doing anything else they can to avoid dealing with the looming fiscal cliff. This bill helps no one, and was a complete waste of time.

    December 6, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. thinkergal

    What a clown.

    December 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. Observer

    Lunatic is as lunatic does, isn't that right Forest, stay away from Washington its easy to catch this disease, its an epedemic in congress, and within the republican party, be sure not to answer your phone their able to spread it through the phone lines. Oh wait that's Looney Tunes.

    December 6, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. realitybites

    This Lone Star don't shine too bright does he?

    December 6, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. samwalkergraham

    First of all, I'm just impressed that republicans and democrats can actually agree on something. I just wish it had to do with something more important than improving the English literature. I guess even congress has to take baby steps in order to get the US economy to get better.

    December 6, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "This bill helps no one, and was a complete waste of time."

    Those suffering from mental illness would beg to differ. Respect and empathy are quite helpful. As for wastes of time, I would guess this took up all of a couple of hours, particularly in light of the obvious ease with which it passed.

    December 6, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. AnotherTexan

    Gohmert = Lone Lunatic

    December 6, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Paul

    Gohmert and the word "lunatic". I actually fell off my chair laughing; thinking of the irony of him voting to keep that word. Louie, when you retire, a lot of comedians will be put out of business!!!

    December 6, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. Harbormick

    They are debating this while the fiscal cliff looms. That is lunacy, nice job Mr. Speaker

    December 6, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Laurie in Spokane

    I don't see the problem with the word "lunatic". It describes something or an action that is incomprehensible, insane, or otherwise completely beyond the scope of accepted behaviors. As it pertains to DC, it is entirely appropriate. What a waste of time to be debating this when other things of vastly more importance need immediate attention.

    December 6, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. RAWoD

    Another example of how these children waste time. Time to start investing in tar and feathers.

    December 6, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. DAT

    Yes, let's call them "reality challenged." Enough with the PC crap.

    December 6, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Larkinvos

    Mr. Gohmert knows whereof he speaks.

    December 6, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Data Driven

    Well, hang in there, onlyfacts. Actually, I suspect the lunatics only outnumber you by a percentage total off 56 / 44. Unfortunately, the curdled cream of the lunatic crop rises in the form of legislators.

    December 6, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. kmac

    Thats because he is one. He likes see his name in Fed law.

    December 6, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "They are debating this while the fiscal cliff looms."

    Based on it passing with Gohmert being the only idiot to oppose the bill, I think it's safe to say that no debate was even required and that it all took almost no time whatsoever.

    December 6, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Facts don't Lie

    Ah leave it to a congressperson from my state of Texas to be the lone voice on this matter. The ironic thing about it is if ever there was a person the word lunatic would fit, it would be Louie Gommert. Now the word "retard" is disgusting and it appears to be only accepted if used by the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter. Sarah Palin attacks anyone else who uses it though.Republicans are exempt from her wrath.

    December 6, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Daverelentless

    With this many Republicans in office, we cannot do without the term. We'll have no way to accurately describe them.

    December 6, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Jay

    Some Republicans only show up in the "News" because they do something stupid or highly controversial. I have yet to hear of this Congressman mentioned in the "News" and feel good about it. Shameful that Congress has these types of irrelevant imbeciles.

    December 6, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If the shoe fits, wear it, there's something wrong with this guy.

    December 6, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  24. spartan74

    Incredible. The republicans can pass a measure to eliminate the one word that describes them but can't do anything for the American people. And they wonder why their party is slipping into oblivion.

    December 6, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. blue dog

    Our tax dollars at work in this congress. Is there any depth to which gop cannot sink?

    December 6, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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