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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alabama lawmakers divided on Joe Wilson resolution

Alabama lawmakers voted along party lines for a resolution admonishing U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson for his recent outburst during President Obama's address on health care to a joint session of Congress.
Alabama's three Democrats, Reps. Bobby Bright, Artur Davis and Parker Griffith, voted for the short resolution, which said the South Carolina Republican breached decorum and "degraded the proceedings." Congress approved the resolution disapproving of his behavior 240-179.
Republican Reps. Mike Rogers, Jo Bonner, Robert Aderholt and Spencer Bachus voted against the resolution.
Aderholt, R-Haleyville, told The Birmingham News "I think that Joe Wilson was caught up in the heat of the moment last Wednesday. After the speech he called the president to apologize and the apology was accepted by the president. There is little need to prolong this issue when other important issues could be brought before the House of Representatives."
In a statement, Davis said "a joint session of Congress is not a school playground where children shout names at each other. The House chamber itself is a place with rules meant to preserve dignity and respect. My opinion is that Wilson loudly and defiantly breached those rules."
Davis, D-Birmingham, said he will vote against the health care legislation and had disagreements with President Bush on policies, "but it has never occurred to me to impugn the character or the patriotism of either President Obama or President Bush. I wish that other Americans who feel strongly would find their way to express passion without venom and verbal abuse."
"It is time for those of us in the center to exercise our First Amendment rights to tell our loudest, most extreme voices to sit down and learn some decency."

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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