The political hot water is still boiling for Second District Congressman Joe Wilson, who shouted, “you lie,” and gestured at President Barack Obama during the chief executive’s speech on health care reform before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night. Wilson disagreed with the president’s assertion that the present health care reform bills deny health care services for illegals.
Democratic leaders in the U.S. House are planning to vote early this week to admonish Wilson if he doesn’t apologize on the House floor for the outburst. Wilson says he apologized to the White House shortly after the speech and the White House accepted his apology. Appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Wilson said that House Democrats are playing partisan politics.
“My view is it’s politics,” said Wilson, “This is playing politics, this is exactly what the American people do not want to see and do not want to hear. They want to get, as the White House has advised, lets get to the issues. Lets discuss the issues.”
Wilson says democrats are using his outburst as a way to divert attention away from a bill that would cost 1.6 million jobs according to the National Federation of Independent Business.
Wilson says he has apologized for his actions and the words he used to express his frustration, but he stands by his assertion of a distortion in the facts.
“I just felt so provoked because I am on the Committee of Education and Labor, I know the amendments that were at Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce [committees], that the Democrats voted down for citizenship verification, so i knew what he said was not true.”
The Media Matters Action Network points out that section 246 of bill H.R. 3200 states “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.” Defenders of Wilson point out that among three House committees to pass bills for health reform, only one expressly bans federal funding for providing health coverage to illegal immigrants.
Wilson was asked about a New york Times op-ed piece written by Maureen Dowd suggesting that Wilson did not like being lectured to by a “brainy black president.” Wilson says race had nothing to do with his outburst during President Obama’s speech.
“I respect the president. Actually there is a relationship in a way: his wife, her family is from Georgetown. My family is from right next door, in McClellanville, so I have a great respect for the Obama family.”