The House spending debate has turned to a discussion of whether to defund Democrats’ new health care law, and several Republicans have called it “Obamacare” in their House speeches.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, says that’s insulting, and a violation of the House rules.
The name refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Democrats pushed through Congress and Mr. Obama signed last year without any Republican lawmakers’ support.
“That is a disparaging reference to the president of the United States. It is meant as a disparaging reference to the president of the United States,” Mrs. Wasserman Schultz said on the House floor, demanding a ruling from the chair.
Rep. Rob Bishop, the Utah Republican who was holding the gavel, said her question was a hypothetical, but urged everyone to show respect.
Republicans gleefully stepped up their use of “Obamacare.”
“We call it what it is. It is ‘Obamacare.’ It is a travesty,” said Rep. Denny Rehberg, the Montana Republican who was leading the fight to defund the administration’s ability to carry out the law.
Mr. Obama has used the term himself on several occasions, though each time it appeared to be in the context of quoting attacks on him, such as “Kill ‘Obamacare.’”
At the White House, then-spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked earlier this year how they feel about the term, and he said they don’t think much about what people call the law, just what people are getting from the law.
“My sense is that all those people call it a number of different things, but in their mind it means that they’re finally getting a little bit of help with the problems that they have,” he said.