Stupak: Pro-Life Congressman Who Called Bill a Baby Killer "Tarnished" House

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 23, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Stupak: Pro-Life Congressman Who Called Bill a Baby Killer "Tarnished" House

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 23
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Congressman Bart Stupak has issued a response to the pro-life Texas Republican lawmaker who shouted during his comments on the House floor that the pro-abortion health care bill was "a baby killer." Stupak says Rep. Randy Neugebauer’s shout "tarnished" the reputation of the House.

Stupak also says he has accepted the congressman’s apology.

"I did receive an apology call from Congressman Neugebauer this afternoon. I accepted his apology," Stupak said.

"I also let him know that, while we all have had a very long week and tensions were high leading up to the vote Sunday night, I feel it is important for Members to maintain decorum of the House," he added. "Over the past year there have been a couple of incidents on the House floor where outbursts have tarnished Congress’s reputation and I hope there are no further incidents.”

Stupak also said he should apologize on the House floor.

"Randy did call and apologize. He said it wasn’t directed towards me personally. Well, if that’s the case then it must have been directed to the rest of the members of the House. I would hope Randy would just clear it up and take to the House of the Floor and say, ‘look I didn’t mean to offend anyone. If I did, I apologize,’ Stupak said on "Washington Unplugged,"’s daily politics Web show.

"That’s what he should do and that’s what I would expect him to do," he said.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann, a top pro-life lawmaker who has become something of a star among conservatives, said the flap about the "baby killer" comment is overdone and that it won’t become as big of a deal as the "you lie" comment made during President Barack Obama’s speech.

"I don’t think it’s going to be as big a deal as the Joe Wilson thing," she was overheard telling Neugebauer’s son at the capitol, according to a Politico report.

As reported, Stupak was speaking when Neugebauer apparently shouted "baby killer" in response to what pro-life groups are calling Stupak’s "sellout" by agreeing to a disputed executive order to supposedly ban abortion funding.
After the shout, members of Congress groaned and one replied, "Who said that?"

“Last night was the climax of weeks and months of debate on a health care bill that my constituents fear and do not support,” Neugebauer said in a statement apologizing for his remark.

However, the pro-life congressman, who represents a west Texas district known for its conservative and pro-life values, said the statement wasn’t directed at Stupak himself.

“In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase ‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership. While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself," he said.

Neugebauer said he has already issued an apology to the Michigan Democrat.

“I have apologized to Mr. Stupak and also apologize to my colleagues for the manner in which I expressed my disappointment about the bill,” he said in a statement. “The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate."

Responding to the incident, pro-abortion House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said, according to Politico, that the apology is not enough and Neugebauer should apologize to the full House.

The "baby killer" outburst came about six months after Rep. Joe Wilson, a pro-life Republican from South Carolina, yelled "you lie" to Obama during the president’s speech to Congress. The House passed a resolution that month admonishing Wilson.

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