The House formally admonished Joe Wilson today for his "You lie" outburst during President Obama's speech. The vote was 240-179, with 12 Democrats and seven Republicans voting against party lines. "At issue," declared House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer during debate, "is whether we are able to proceed with a degree of civility and decorum that our rules and our democracy contemplate and require." But GOP leader John Boehner dismissed the resolution as a "witchhunt. ... My goodness, we could be doing this every day of the week."
When he took the floor prior to the vote, Wilson refused to back down. "I think it is clear to the American people that there are far more important issues facing this nation than what we're addressing right now." He said Obama had "graciously accepted my apology and the issue is over." The House historian's office said the resolution marks the first time in the 220-year history of the chamber that a member had been admonished for speaking out while the president was giving an address.