Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – President Obama plans to sign the healthcare bill making it the law of the land Tuesday, but before the bill arrives on his desk a heated debate took place on the house floor Sunday night. Congressman Randy Neugebauer made national headlines not for what he said behind but the podium, but for what he shouted. Neugebauer says he shouted "it's a baby killer" while Democrat Bart Stupak from Michigan defended his decision to vote for the bill.
Some are comparing the baby killer comment to an outburst made by South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson during a speech by President Obama where he yelled "you lie."
Representative Neugebauer says he's heartbroken the bill passed, but says the timing and tone of his outburst were inappropriate. It wasn't clear until Monday who shouted baby killer until West Texas' representative in Washington said it was him. "What I was speaking is very passionately about I was very upset what was unfolding before my eyes and the eyes of the American people," Rep. Neugebauer said.
Some people thought those passionate remarks were directed at Rep. Stupak, directed at what was unfolding before my eyes. "It was directed at what was unfolding before my eyes and that was government takeover of health care and somehow using lives of unborn children as somehow a backroom deal maker to push legislation through and I found it unacceptable I think American people find it unacceptable," said Rep. Neugebauer.
Neugebauer believes an agreement under which President Obama said he would issue an executive order pledging no federal funds would be used for abortions gave House Democrats the votes they needed.
"I'll never apologize for passion, but certainly do not want Congressman Stupak to think those remarks were directed at him. They were directed at the bill that was pending where we were going to kill innocent children and I just felt like their voice needed to be heard," Rep. Neugebauer said Monday.
He says the timing of his comment was inappropriate but it is how he and his GOP colleagues feel. Rep. Neugebauer did apologize to his colleagues, and called Rep. Stupak Monday. "I have to balance decorum of the house and speaking up for the American people and using proper decorum," added Neugebauer who admitted his decorum was probably not appropriate Sunday night.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says there is no need for any punishment and that Rep. Neugebauer's comment was inappropriate but his apology was accepted.
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