A Republican member of Congress apparently called Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) a "baby killer" near the end of the day-long House debate on health care Sunday night.
House Republicans, in an effort to derail the bill, introduced a "motion to recommit" that would have reintroduced the abortion amendment cosponsored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.).
In a dramatic gesture, the pro-life Stupak rose to speak against the amendment saying that it was nothing more than an effort to deprive 32 million Americans of health insurance. Democrats rose to applaud the much-maligned Stupak.
"It's your bill!" shouted several chastened members from the GOP side, as the chamber descended into chaos. Once order was restored, a GOP member then shouted at Stupak: "Baby killer!"
More chaos. "Who said that?!" demanded a Democrat.
The shouter was not identified, but one reporter in the gallery thought it was Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.). It was not, he told reporters in the Speaker's lobby as the vote on the amendment, which eventually failed by a vote of 199-232, was still going on.
"It was on the floor, but it wasn't very far behind me," Campbell told reporters. "But it was definitely on the floor, but it wasn't me. I don't think it's appropriate at all."
Campbell told reporters that it sounded as if it was said with a Southern accent.
Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.), who was presiding over the floor when the anonymous Republican member made the outburst, told reporters he knows who the offending lawmaker is but won't name names.
"Members have a right to make an idiot of themselves once without being exposed," he said.
Watch video of the incident:
Sam Stein contributed reporting to this post.
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