Clyburn Says Neugebauer Should Apologize on House Floor for Outburst

Posted March 22, 2010 at 2:56pm

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) needs to go to the well of the House to apologize publicly for yelling “baby killer” during last night’s health care debate and called on House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) “to rein in his caucus members” after a recent series of breaches of decorum.

Neugebauer issued a statement this afternoon acknowledging that he shouted the phrase, claiming that he said, “It’s a baby killer,” referring to the bill and not to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who was speaking at the time. Only “baby killer” was audible in the chamber.

Neugebauer said he had apologized to Stupak and his colleagues, but Clyburn said he should go further.

“He needs to go to the well,” Clyburn said. “He disrupted the decorum of the House of Representatives.” Clyburn also called on Boehner to urge his Members to comply with House rules.

“What you saw on the floor yesterday was not just that yell,” Clyburn said, noting the cheering by numerous Republicans of a heckler in the House gallery as he was getting arrested by Capitol Police.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), however, said he did not see a need for further action.

“He apologized,” Hoyer said. “He shouldn’t have done it. I don’t think further action is needed.”

Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman, said his boss was “satisfied with the tone of the debate, which focused on the serious factual arguments against the
Democrats’ job-killing government takeover bill.”

Democrats cleared the health care package Sunday night. The Senate is poised to consider the final aspect of the overhaul by taking up a reconciliation “fixer” bill this week.