Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Exception To The Rule?

A resolution of disapproval is the lightest punishment the House can give one of its members. It is less than a censure and certainly way under expulsion. Today the House voted on a resolution of disapproval expressing its disapproval of Representative Joe Wilson's breach of decorum by shouting, "You lie!" during President Obama's speech.

Here's the text of the resolution:

Raising a question of the privileges of the House.

Whereas on September 9, 2009, during the joint session of Congress convened pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 179, the President of the United States, speaking at the invitation of the House and Senate, had his remarks interrupted by the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson; and

Whereas the conduct of the Representative from South Carolina was a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives disapproves of the behavior of the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson, during the joint session of Congress held on September 9, 2009.

The vote tally is here


McMorris Rodgers

Cathy McMorris Rodgers apparently does not think there was a breach of decorum, that it degraded the proceedings of the joint session, or that it discredited the House. Aside from the appearance of a tacit approval of his behavior, I wonder if she is familiar with the rules espoused by the Republican party.

A Member should avoid impugning the motives of another Member, the Senate or the President, using offensive language, or uttering words that are otherwise deemed unparliamentary.


Categories of Unparliamentary Speech

* Defaming or degrading the House
* Criticism of the Speaker’s personal conduct
* Impugning the motives of another Member
* Charging falsehood or deception
* Claiming lack of intelligence or knowledge
* References to race, creed, or prejudice
* Charges related to loyalty or patriotism

Looks like the members of the House that voted Nay need to revisit their basic training.


Shan said...

I heard Wilson's response today. It *is* true that this action didn't resolve any of the major problems he cited. No doubt. But what he failed to acknowledge is that the action does address something that's got to be equally as important: how we treat one another. It seems to me that this country has forgotten its manners. Although the previous administration apparently viewed open hostility as a best practice, it clearly didn't move us forward as a nation or as humans.


Stepping down from the soap box now.

Eric said...

I noticed that Jim McDermitt (D)WA also must concur with Cathy McMorris Rogers as he voted in the Nay.