House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, says he’ll offer a privileged resolution today to censure Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, for what he said last week about President Bush and his supporters in Congress as the House failed to override Bush’s veto of a bipartisan State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) expansion: “You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.” (See the full video of Stark’s floor statement here.)
Boehner and other GOP leaders had demanded that Stark retract the statement and apologize; Stark had reacted by demanding that Boehner and 153 of his fellow Republicans apologize for failing to override legislation that would have provided health care to 10 million children.
Boehner’s office said the text of his resolution will read as follows:
HOUSE RESOLUTION _____
Raising a Question of the privileges of the House.
Mr. Boehner submitted the following resolution which was referred to the Committee on _____________.
Whereas, United States soldiers and personnel in Iraq are fighting to protect innocent Americans from being attacked by al-Qaeda and radical jihadists who are determined to kill the American people.
Whereas on October 18, 2007, in debate on H.R. 976, Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act, the Member from California, Mr. Stark, stated: “You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.”
Whereas, on October 18, 2007, in a press release, Rep. Pete Stark is quoted as saying: “I respect neither the Commander-in-Chief who keeps them in harms way nor the chickenhawks in Congress.”
Whereas the Member from California, Mr. Stark, engaged in personally abusive language toward the President and Members of the House, including the use of language that impugns their motives.
Whereas, the Member from California, Mr. Stark dishonors not only the Commander-in-Chief, but the thousands of courageous men and women of America’s armed forces who believe in their mission and are putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security.
Whereas the Member from California, Mr. Stark, has failed to retract his statement and apologize to the Members of the House, our Commander-in-Chief, and the families of our soldiers and commanders fighting terror overseas.
Resolved, that the Member from California, Mr. Stark, by his despicable conduct, has dishonored himself and brought discredit to the House and merits the censure of the House for the same.
Resolved, that the Member from California, Mr. Stark, is hereby so censured.
UPDATE @ 9:30 A.M. TUESDAY: Stark apologized on the House floor this morning!
“On a very serious note, I want to apologize to my colleagues, many of whom I have offended, to the President, his family, (and) to the troops,” said Stark. “I apologize for this reason: I think we have serious issues before us, the issue of providing medical care to children, the issue about what we’re going to do about a war that we’re divided about how to end. I hope that with this apology I will become as insignificant as I should be and that we can return to the issues that do divide us but that we can resolve in a better fashion.”