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
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.
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