- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic congressman from Florida is refusing to apologize for saying that Republicans want Americans who get sick to just “die quickly.” Republicans on Wednesday were planning an effort to scold him just as Democrats chastised a Republican lawmaker earlier this month.

Rep. Alan Grayson made his comments on the House floor Tuesday night while criticizing Republican health care proposals as a “blank piece of paper.”

“If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly,” he said. “That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”

His remarks weren’t spontaneous: He reinforced the point with signs saying the same thing.

Republicans are likening Grayson’s remark to South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s widely criticized shout of “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s address to Congress earlier this month. They say Democrats should insist that Grayson apologize just as they insisted Wilson should.

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, who heads the party’s conservative Republican Study Committee, was planning to introduce a “resolution of disapproval” over Grayson’s behavior that mirrors one Democrats approved against Wilson. Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner, said Boehner supports the resolution.

Grayson, a first-term Democrat known for being provocative, represents a Republican-leaning district around Orlando and was already among the GOP’s top targets for the 2010 elections.

Ken Spain, spokesman for the House Republican campaign arm, said Democrats should be “lining up to call on him to apologize.”

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now has an opportunity to condemn the very behavior and tone of this health care debate that she claims will ‘incite violence,’” he said, referring to Democratic concerns that the bitter tone of the health care debate could lead to attacks.

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