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House Formally Rebukes Wilson

Updated 7:09 p.m.The House approved by a 240-179 vote a rare resolution of disapproval Tuesday against Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for interrupting President Barack Obama and screaming “You lie!” during last week’s joint session of Congress.The one-sentence resolution, released by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday afternoon, states the interruption “was a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House.”Twelve Democrats voted against the resolution, while seven Republicans voted in favor. Five Democrats voted present.The largely party-line vote came after Wilson repeatedly refused to apologize to on the House floor to his colleagues, contending that his apology to the president on the night of the speech should suffice. Obama accepted that apology. Hoyer, speaking on the House floor before the vote, said the resolution “is not about the substance of an issue but about the conduct we expect of one another in the course of doing our business.”“In the absence of Mr. Wilson’s expressing his regret for acting in a manner that almost all agree was both contrary to the spirit of the rules of this House and the common courtesy we should extend to all, and particularly the president of the United States, we have brought forward this resolution,” added Hoyer, who joined Majority Whip James Clyburn (S.C.) as the only Democrats to speak on the floor on behalf of the resolution.Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) defended Wilson in his floor remarks, calling the resolution a "partisan stunt" crafted by Democrats to distract the American people from the health care reform debate.“To think of the precedent that is being set here today, think about it, never has this happened before,” Boehner said. “[To bring up] a resolution disapproving of misbehavior, my goodness, we’d be doing this every day of the week.”

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