Rep. Pete Stark apologizes to president following failed censure attempt
Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA) apologized today for heated remarks he made during House Democrats' attempt last week to override a presidential veto of the SCHIP children's insurance program. The apology came following an attempt by Republican leaders to censure Stark, which failed 196-173.
"I want to apologize, first of all to my colleagues," the congressman said from the floor, adding that he also extended the apology to the "president and his family" as well as as "the troops."
"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," he concluded.
During the unsuccessful SCHIP veto override attempt, Stark had lacerated Republicans for saying the proposed measure was too expensive.
"You don’t have money to fund the war or children," he said at the time. "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.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) joined Republicans in criticizing the comments, calling them "inappropriate" and adding that the remarks "distracted from the seriousness of the subject at hand — providing healthcare for America’s children.”
A CNN online poll, however, found a resounding 88 percent of respondents felt Stark shouldn't apologize.
Five Democrats voted with Republicans today on the censure attempt, which was brought by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH).
The following video is from C-SPAN, broadcast on October 23, 2007.