March 23rd, 2010
06:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Hoyer criticizes House Republicans' behavior during debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Democrat Steny Hoyer criticized Republicans Tuesday for their behavior during the health care debate."](CNN) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer denounced House Republicans Tuesday for their behavior on the House floor and for inciting protestors outside the U.S. Capitol during the health care debate this weekend.

"Members of Congress ought not to act like some people acted in town meetings," Hoyer told reporters.

While Hoyer criticized Texas Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer's outburst - Neugebauer yelled "baby killer" while Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak spoke on the House floor Sunday - the majority leader reiterated that he didn't believe any action to reprimand Neugebauer was necessary. He said that the Republican's statement released Monday was sufficient and an apology on the House floor wasn't needed.

Neugebauer said in his statement he shouted, "It's a baby killer," and that he was referring to an agreement Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats had struck with the White House - not to Stupak himself.

Hoyer read Neugebauer's statement aloud to reporters, noting, "He said he said 'it's' - I take him at his word." But Hoyer maintained that Democrats on the floor Sunday night only heard the "baby killer" part of Neugebauer's comment.

The Maryland Democrat, who has served in the House for 30 years, criticized the GOP's tactics during the health care debate. "It is not good for the civility in our democracy," Hoyer said. "And it is not a good lesson for those who are watching us, who may not have the restraint that hopefully adults in the Congress of United States have."

Hoyer said it was not fitting with regular order in the Capitol for members to cheer on protesters inside the House chamber or to hang signs from windows in the Capitol, or for Republican members to stand on the balcony just outside the House floor waving signs to protesters below.

"It doesn't mean people can't carry signs on the grounds, or talk to and exhort people who come here. That's certainly appropriate. We all do that. The essence of democracy is discussion and debate, not confrontation for confrontation's sake."

Hoyer said both Republican and Democratic leaders need to set an example.

"We ought to all be careful as leaders in this country to conduct ourselves in a way that demonstrates to the public how we ought to act," he

Filed under: Health care • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Hoyer the Hypocrite

    Hoyer has a lot of nerve to be criticizing the GOP. The Dems hide in the bowels of the Capitol Building cutting deals, bribing pols for votes; cutting deals with lobbyists and special interest groups. not allowing any input from Republicans; and totally disregarding the will of the American people.

    The way the Dems acted for the past year is utterly shameful.

    March 23, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. goofus

    Oh come on Hoyer ! The democrats wrote the book on Demeaning behavior !

    March 23, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Gee

    Oh so cutting crooked deals behind closed doors is okay but encouraging the American people to protest on the capital grounds is some how bad form? What a load.....Dems are so one-sided stupid....

    March 23, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. jeff

    grow up you would do worse then this you got what you wanted with back room deals and you can not admit it but just wait when you are looking for a job

    March 23, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Hoyer the Idiot

    "It" is not a "baby killer" ; it is a "nation killer" It is a "generation killer" it is a "Medicare killer" it is a "budget killer" and it is a "Trust Killer"

    Hoyer ought to look at his own party. I much prefer GOP members yelling at Dems than having the Dems destroy this great country.

    March 23, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  6. TCM

    Wow....we should take lessons from the democrats on behavior, huh? Rangel...Dodd, Pelosi, Emanuel, Axlerod....Biden...Jarrett....and Obama....are just pillars of society with their squeaky clean background and credentials...

    March 23, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. Martin DuBois

    It doesn't surprise me that GOP members act in this manner! It seems like the only platforms they run on are fear and attack! They have no sense of urgency for our struggling country! They only care about their own agenda(which is basically how much they can fit in their pockets) and whether they'll be re-elected! Worry about fixing the country and working together, that is what we need!

    March 23, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  8. Hey

    did he get his little fellings hurt....Awwwwww

    March 23, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    I am even more angry at the GOP than when they marched us off to war against a country that never attacked us because I get the feeling they really believed that whopper about the WMD's. They have chosen to try to deny healthcare to millions and let the insurance companies put the screws to the rest of us all in an effort to deny President Obama a victory. It is not about saving money or states rights or what ever else they come up with it is about not letting Obama win. Get over yourselves and get the heck out of the way.

    March 23, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    The Republicans have devolved into a bunch of Brown Shirts.

    And specifically regarding Neugebauer's outburst, consider this:

    The health insurance he and all the other members of Congress and the Senate enjoy includes the following provisions regarding abortion (if you don't believe me, go to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program Web site and see for yourself):

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan Nationwide plan, Page 40

    "Not covered: Procedures, services, drugs, and supplies related to abortions except when the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or when the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest."

    TRANSLATION: All taxpayers are currently funding abortion.

    And, this is the same language as is in the health care reform bill just passed.

    March 23, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
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