September 11, 2009 in Nation/World

Wilson’s apology doesn’t end ‘You lie!’ flap

Democrat seeks resolution of disapproval
Richard Simon Los Angeles Times
The Spokesman-Review photo

(Full-size photo)

Ohio lawmaker getting calls

 WASHINGTON – An Ohio congressman named Charlie Wilson wants people to know he’s not Joe Wilson, the lawmaker who heckled President Barack Obama.

 The Ohio Democrat says people have phoned confusing him with the South Carolina Republican who yelled “You lie” while the president was addressing Congress on Wednesday night. The two Wilsons are not related.

WASHINGTON – The congressman who heckled President Barack Obama during a televised address Wednesday night found that although the president accepted his apology Thursday, the furor over his outburst did not let up.

The shout of “You lie!” by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during the president’s speech on health care was a significant break in decorum.

“I’m a big believer that we all make mistakes,” Obama said in acknowledging the apology from Wilson. “I do think that, as I said last night, we have to get to the point where we can have a conversation about big important issues that matter to the American people without vitriol, without name-calling, without the assumption of the worst of other people’s motives.”

Still, House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a Democrat from Wilson’s home state, said he planned to push for a resolution expressing disapproval of the incident unless Wilson apologized on the House floor.

And Rob Miller – the Democratic challenger for Wilson’s House seat – raked in 14,000-plus contributions totaling more than $500,000 since the outburst, according to the House Democratic campaign committee.

A Wilson spokesman, Ryan Murphy, said the lawmaker had “apologized to the president sincerely, and the president accepted and said let’s move on and have a civil discourse. And the congressman agrees.”

Wilson’s outburst came in response to Obama’s statement that a health care overhaul would not directly benefit illegal immigrants.

The bills developed by House Democrats and by the Senate’s health committee explicitly prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving federal subsidies for insurance. However, the House Republican leadership has complained that there is no provision to enforce the prohibition.

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