Pelosi: Forget censure of Wilson

Sept. 10, 2009 at 10:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Democrats must drop efforts to censure a GOP representative who shouted "You lie" during President Obama's speech, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

In the wake of the episode, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., has appealed to supporters for campaign donations and a Democratic challenger in Wilson's district has reaped a bonanza of contributions.

Democratic leaders Thursday were looking into what formal action the House could take against Wilson, whose outburst during Obama's address on healthcare reform to a joint session of Congress shocked the chamber, The Hill reported.

"It's time for us to talk about healthcare, not Joe Wilson," said Pelosi, D-Calif.

One option Democrats considered was censure. Pelosi nixed censure, as well as a call to require Wilson to apologize on the House floor.

"I'm on to healthcare reform. I'm not going to discuss Joe Wilson," she said. "I think his action spoke for itself. He has apologized. He will figure out what is appropriate for him to do."

After Obama told Congress that his healthcare reform plan would not permit illegal immigrants be eligible for public health insurance, Wilson shouted, "You lie," drawing boos from the floor and criticism from both sides of the aisle. Wilson later apologized, saying GOP leaders had requested that he do so.

Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson of Connecticut said Wilson should apologize.

Obama, asked about the incident after meeting with his Cabinet, said Wilson "apologized quickly and without equivocation, and I'm appreciative of that."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Rob Miller, who ran against Wilson in 2008 and received 46 percent of the vote, received more than 10,000 new donations totaling more than $350,000 Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

Wilson posted an appeal on his campaign Web site saying Miller had raised more than $400,000 and asking supporters for campaign donations. He promised he will continue to speak out.

"On these issues, I will not be muzzled," he said.

"The supporters of the government takeover of health care, and the liberals who want to give healthcare to illegals, are using my opposition as an excuse to distract from the critical questions being raised about this poorly conceived plan," he said in a video posted on YouTube.

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