[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/23/art.hoyer.gi.jpg 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