March 23rd, 2010
06:21 PM ET
12 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. j

    The Republicans attitude has been rather reprehensible. They should conduct themselves in a manner fitting their status as a US Representative.

    March 23, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. NVa Native

    Republicans are a bunch of immature punks who have no integrity or respect for our country, or it's people. Bunch of spineless wimps who talk big with nothing to back it up.

    March 23, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Fitz In Texas

    Give me a freakin break Steny Hoyer..........Guess you've been sleeping while we have all witnessed the bribes, backroom deals, and lies coming from the Democrats over this health care bill. Clean up your own house before you start pointing fingers at others


    Why is the hard working tax payer still paying the salary of that crook in the pic with you.........Charles Rangel? Now that's 'behavior' you must believe in....taxpayers paying a Democrat crook.

    March 23, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Steph

    Well said Representative Hoyer! We expect our elected officials to behave like adults. Now, if the protesters could refrain from shouting epithets and throwing rocks at office windows, we all may just get along again.

    March 23, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Gertie

    To think all these people are getting so worked up about insurance.

    March 23, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  6. jojomcgee

    The Radicals (Pelosi, Hoyer, Obama, Slaughter, etc, etc) have been bringing in Code Pink and other such groups to purposely disrupt various official meetings, so Hoyer is blowing so much b.s.

    March 23, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Thomas Vergeront

    Perhaps Steny Hoyer should talk also to Joe Biden. In order would be a little mouth washing with soap for his standard use of gutter language (F-bomb). Often the Democrats to not discipline there own. Lets see response from them towards Joe Biden. Perhaps Senator Feingold should bring a bill to censor VP Joe Biden to the floor.

    March 23, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. jojomcgee

    Steny, I can understand and forgive people who vent their emotions after being stupaked.

    March 23, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. cjg

    Funny but it was being reported on the Inernet that these things actually did not happen, that it was all made up by the liberal media!
    So now the GOP is saying they should not act like they did , MMMmmmm, maybe the liberal media did not make it all up huh? , is that what I am hearing???
    The GOP have been acting like spoiled brats since the election , time for them to grow up and be respectful to each other and to this President!
    Regardless of party , all need to act with respect and put the country before theirselves.

    March 23, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. progress

    So proud to be a Democratic American today. We progressives are never content, but these are good days that work like a cup of coffee. I'll keep fighting to move our country forward!

    March 23, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. 8 Years of King George II and now the Landed Gentry Scream “Let Them Eat Cake” to the Unemployed and Uninsured Serfs!

    While not very adult or professional, it was VERY funny and a bit scary.

    I hoped someone checked the great Orange Oracle's Depends, he looked like he might have made poo-poo during his histrionics!

    I actually thought the cheerleading tea bagging hag on the balcony was going to start "column" dancing when she was dancing the Polka while the hillbillies played "Oh Susanna" on the empty moonshine jugs.

    Not to mention the good gentlemen that looked like drunken college sophomores with their "Kill the bill" cute little placards swaying to to tunes from the "mouth organ", that's a harmonica to all you elitist on the this blog.

    But my biggest and scariest fear was that those same good Red gentlemen were going to start giving a "tea bagging" demo on live TV in an effort to show they needed to get back in touch with the "roots" so to speak!

    March 23, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  12. Carol in Cincinnati

    I was appalled at the spectacle of members of Congress lined up on the Capitol's balcony, holding up signs reading "KILL" and "NO" to the already frenzied, spitting, slurring crowd below. What on earth have we come to when this is considered acceptable behavior for elected oficials in the nation's highest legialative bodies? More importantly, where do we go from here? I am honestly afraid for our democracy.

    March 23, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  13. LacrosseMom

    Republicans have crossed a line, they have decided to give up being civil, having an intelligent debate, or stating the facts. Their strategy is still the old vile one, of hate, lies, fear and division. Problem is that they are alienating fair-minded Americans, who are not impressed with the ugly behavior of the Conservatives.

    Careful GOP, hate is always rejected.

    March 23, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. EBC

    Don't waste your breath Steny.

    Republicans have proven themselves to be the party of sore losers who are focused on fear-mongering and juvenile threats while doing absolutely NOTHING when it comes to putting their "COUNTRY FIRST".

    Your talking to a bunch of selfish and bitter cowards!!!

    March 23, 2010 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. CEE

    Most of these guys were spoiled brats when they were kids, it's just coming out again when things don't go their way.

    March 23, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. duke of omaha

    You know, the Congress do not have to worry about this stinker of a HC plan, they are set for life in that department. So if the Congressman can't stand the heat, he should just drink some draino and do us all a favor.

    March 23, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. MsDp

    I think the GOP Senators actions are very strong indicators of who are the teapartiers aka GOP, and who are the teapartiers real leaders aka GOP!! They're all part of the same clan.

    March 23, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. LoveThyNeighbor

    Congressman Randy Neugebauer is a bully and VERY childish. There are other venues to speak ones' mind. The House floor is NOT one of them! Some people claim that the Democrats are not doing too well. I have to tell you, they do not shout obnoxious comments and try to get their crowds revved up and brainwash them. They are the TRUE leaders we need in a time of crisis and if you do not like it, vote come November and let your conscious be your guide...Sam

    March 23, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. MJ

    What about all the back-room deals, midnight meetings, closed door sessions with Democrats only? Guess is depends on your view. There has been no transparency since O has taken office. He is doing his best to destroy our economy and leave us, and our children, grandchildren, in the worst economic position ever. Health Care Reform? Just wait, the Socialistic takeover has just begun.

    March 23, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. Illinoistom

    And Nancy Pelosi strutting through a sea of protesters carrying her gavel while sneering at the opposition was a good example?

    March 23, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. hongli

    The Republican Party is a Party of " TUGS" occupying space and wasting other people's time.

    March 23, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. Ed

    The day is rapidly approaching for a third party to emerge. Clearly, the congress is lining up along party lines for everything. Repubs vote in mass against Dem backed bills and if the Repubs propose legislation the Dems will vote in mass against those bills. Two or three from each party will cross over but the majority will oppose the others bills regardless of content.

    Probably the only exceptions will be bills tied to war or Israel. On these matters they will split along idealogical lines depending on which quid pro quo they have embraced.

    March 23, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Gerry NH

    Is exhortion and bribery correct behavior for congress members?

    March 23, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. Jennifer

    Stay steadfast, Steny!

    March 23, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. ib

    Hoyer; you have nerve to say something like this. Congress should not ram healthcare rationing down peoples throats when we don't want it either. Remember in Nov.

    March 23, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
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