Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) acknowledged in a statement Monday he was the Member who shouted “baby killer” on the floor Sunday night while Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) addressed the chamber.
“Last night was the climax of weeks and months of debate on a health care bill that my constituents fear and do not support. In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase ‘it’s a baby killer’ in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership,” he said. “While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself.”
Neugebauer said he apologized to Stupak for the outburst.
“I have apologized to Mr. Stupak and also apologize to my colleagues for the manner in which I expressed my disappointment about the bill. The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate,” he said.
The four-term Republican, who has a 100 percent voting score from the National Right to Life, made this post on his Twitter page Sunday, writing: “Bart Stupak sold out to Nancy Pelosi and will now support the Senate version that allows gov’t funded abortions. “
Stupak was speaking on the House floor late Sunday during a GOP motion to recommit on the health care overhaul. The motion sought to insert into the bill earlier language authored by Stupak that would expressly prohibit federal funding of abortion under the health care bill. As Stupak was speaking in the chamber, a GOP Member was overhead shouting “baby killer.”
Several Members acknowledged afterward that they had heard the comment but declined to point the finger at any particular Member. But on Monday morning, several House sources indicated that Neugebauer was responsible.
Stupak led a bloc of anti-abortion-rights Democrats in pushing for stricter language prohibiting federal funding of abortion in the health care reform package. He ultimately supported the measure after President Barack Obama agreed to sign an executive order affirming that there would be no federal funding of abortion under the measure.
Republicans ripped the deal between Stupak as a betrayal, and the Catholic bishops remained opposed to the package, but Stupak said that there was simply no way for his tougher abortion insurance ban to get through the Senate.
Stupak called the Republican motion to recommit a “last-ditch effort of 98 years of denying Americans health care.”
The motion was rejected Sunday night on a 232-199 vote.