Wilson Refuses to Apologize on House Floor

Posted September 10, 2009 at 11:33am

Updated: 12:49 p.m.Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) refused Thursday to apologize on the House floor for yelling, “You lie!— at President Barack Obama on Wednesday evening during the president’s joint address to Congress.“He has apologized is what he said to me,— said Rep. David Dreier (Calif.), ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee. Wilson apologized to the White House and issued a statement last night after making the remark, for which he has been roundly criticized. Both Democratic and Republican leaders had called on Wilson to apologize as well on the House floor. A vote was held open for several minutes as leaders tried to cajole Wilson into issuing the public mea culpa. Dreier also said that Wilson said he was dealing with a unique situation in South Carolina and mentioned the troubles of Gov. Mark Sanford (R). Sanford has been fighting for his political survival after acknowledging an extramarital affair.Dreier, however, said he considers the issue over.“The guy apologized,— Dreier said. “The whole thing was unfortunate, and I think it’s over and done with.—Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said that despite the lack of a public apology, the House should not take any additional action nor should it vote on a censure resolution over the incident.“Let it sit there,— he said, adding that the House shouldn’t censure “rudeness.—Other Democrats, including Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), have called on the House to take some formal action, however.