- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2010

Rep. Randy Neugebauer, Texas Republican, acknowledged Monday that he is the lawmaker who shouted, “Baby killer,” during a floor speech by Rep. Bart Stupak, an anti-abortion Michigan Democrat whose vote was crucial to passage of the Democratic health care bill Sunday evening.

Mr. Neugebauer, who has represented a solidly GOP district that includes the city of Lubbock since 2003, said he had apologized to Mr. Stupak for his outburst, which drew a rebuke from the chair during the often-rowdy debate.

“Those that are shouting out are out of order,” said Rep. David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat, who was presiding in the chair at the time.

Mr. Neugebauer insisted in a statement that he was not referring directly to Mr. Stupak but to the agreement that Mr. Stupak helped work out with the White House. That 11th-hour agreement, under which President Obama said he would issue an executive order pledging that no federal funds be used for abortions, helped seal the last votes Democrats needed to pass the bill.

He said his exact words, referring to that agreement, were, “It’s a baby killer.”

“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.

But Mr. Neugebauer also acknowledged that the House chamber “is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate.”

Mr. Neugebauer is one of the House’s most conservative members, consistently speaking out about the need for lower taxes and smaller government. Last year he co-sponsored a resolution requiring that presidential candidates produce copies of their birth certificates. That followed “birther” movement allegations that Mr. Obama was born outside the United States and not qualified to be president.

In an interview Monday with Fox News, Mr. Stupak lamented the prevalence over the past year of “uncivilized behavior” when lawmakers are trying to speak on the House floor. “We can disagree on these issues as we should and we should have a meaningful debate but personal attacks have no place on it.”

The outburst was reminiscent of last September when another GOP conservative, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, yelled, “You lie,” when Obama was addressing Congress on the health care issue. He also issued an apology.

Unlike that incident, Mr. Wilson quickly was identified by reporters covering the speech. This time, it was not immediately known who did the shouting, and it was nearly a day before Mr. Neugebauer came forward.

Mr. Neugebauer’s “baby killer” shout came at the end of a day of passionate and often vitriolic speeches on both sides of the health care issue. There were also “tea party” protests against the health care bill in which some demonstrators used racial slurs against black members of Congress and reportedly spit at one black lawmaker.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide