Good news. The House today passed a resolution 240 to 179 disapproving Rep. Joe Wilson’s disrespectful violation of House Rules by shouting out, “You Lie” during President Obama’s televised nationwide speech about Health Care Reform. Various Congressmen claimed that Joe Wilson’s conduct during President Obama’s speech was unwelcome and not approved by the House of Representatives. According to the “U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Rules: Decorum in the House and in Committees”, Wilson’s outburst was a breach of “decorum.” Despite Wilson’s so-called apology to President Obama, at the urging by his Republican colleagues, House members were angry at Wilson’s lack of apology to the House for his inappropriate actions and breaking of House Rules.
According to official House Rules, Congressmen are allowed to debate the president in floor debates. However, to preserve respect and decorum the following rules of conduct are listed:
Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual a Member of the House could not:
- call the President a “liar.”
- call the President a “hypocrite.”
- describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
- charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
- refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
- refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”
House Floor Debate: Resolution on Rep. Joe Wilson from C-Span
This video documents the Resolution against Wilson is due to blatant violation of Code of Conduct of House Rules.
This is not an attempt to “muzzle” voices as some Republicans claim. This is an attempt to raise the level of discourse in the Congress from disrespectful actions by Rep. Joe Wilson while President Obama spoke to the nation– to respectful restoration of civil dialogue between Congress and the President of the U.S.
The type of outburst rudely spoken by Rep. Joe Wilson during a presidential address to a jt. session of congress has never occurred in the history of the United States at a similar venue.
It’s possible to disagree with the President in a Civil Manner
How would you like it if someone rudely interrupted you while you spoke? There was plenty of time for the Republican representative to give a different perspective to Americans after President Obama completed his speech to a joint session of congress. It was unacceptable that Rep. Joe Wilson purposely allowed himself to lose control of himself (as he claims) and to yell out, “You lie!” during President Obama’s speech.
Republicans claim that they are the victim of a “witch hunt” due to passing of the resolution is ridiculous as is Rep. John Boehner’s comments on the House floor stating the resolution passed was due to “partisan politics”.
If the tables were turned and if a democratic representative had violated House Rules of Conduct in the same manner as Rep. Joe Wilson did, but towards former President G. W. Bush, how would Mr. Boehner have reacted?
The fact is that Rep. Joe Wilson broke an age old House Rule in effect since 1909. He violated the Code of Conduct becoming to a representative in the House. He rightfully should be admonished for his lack of apology to the entire body of the House for his highly unusual breach of common courtesy and conduct to the President of the U.S.
Nancy Pelosi: Floor Apology Or House Resolution For Rep. Joe Wilson
Representative Joe Wilson had ample time to reflect on his behavior and apologize to the House. However, he failed to do the right thing and therefore the House properly passed a resolution to disapprove of his disgraceful unprecedented uncivil behavior.