September 11th, 2009
01:40 PM ET
13 years ago

House Democrats plan vote to admonish Wilson

WASHINGTON (CNN)–House Democratic leaders plan to bring a resolution to the House floor next week to admonish South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson if he does not apologize on the House floor for his outburst during President Obama's joint address to Congress, according to several House Democratic leadership aides.

"He's violated the rules of the House with inappropriate conduct and he's subject to reprimand," said Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina.

Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said that Wilson violated House rules - but also said that it was "time for us to talk about health care and not Mr. Wilson."

Immediately after the President's speech Wednesday night, Wilson issued a statement saying, "This evening I let my emotions get the best of me when listening to the President's remarks regarding the coverage of illegal immigrants in the health care bill. While I disagree with the President's statement, my comments were inappropriate and regrettable. I extend sincere apologies to the President for this lack of civility." He also called the White House and apologized to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

On Thursday Wilson told reporters, "Last night I heard from the leadership that they wanted me to contact the White House and state that my statements were inappropriate. I did."

President Obama accepted Wilson's apology on Thursday, but Democrats say Wilson's actions on the House floor have consequences.

Democratic leadership aides said that Wilson was given an opportunity to apologize on the floor on Thursday, but declined. During the final series of votes for the week, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md, spoke to the House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio on the House floor, about giving Wilson an opportunity to make an apology on the floor.

Boehner acknowledged that he spoke to Wilson on the House floor on Thursday, but declined to disclose any specifics.

Clyburn also spoke to Wilson directly, who refused Clyburn's appeal to make the apology on the floor, according to Greco.

An aide to Wilson says "the Congressman is aware of the decision by the Democrat leadership and will be making a decision this weekend."
Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel told CNN "Representative Wilson has apologized to the President, and the President accepted his apology. As the Speaker said yesterday, now it's time to talk about healthcare."

The Democratic resolution would be a resolution of disapproval, citing Wilson for violating the House's rules of decorum. Democratic leaders made the decision to move ahead with a resolution at their leadership meeting on Thursday after Wilson decided not to address the House, but a vote has not been scheduled yet, according to these aides.

Filed under: Joe Wilson
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Farrell in Houston

    Do you think they may be afraid Wilson may go postal, I would, all the signs are there.

    September 11, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. interested observer

    Up until a few months ago, the administration at the time trotted out the 'You're helping the terrorists!' line anytime there was disagreement with their policies, or criticism of the president.

    If Republicans really believed that, what must the terrorits be thinking now?? How hypocritical ..

    September 11, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Stu

    Perhaps the truth hurts...but, one apology is all that is needed. Don't grovel.

    September 11, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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