Last night, as Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) gave a speech on the House floor in favor of health care reform, a Republican lawmaker yelled “baby killer” at the staunchly pro-life Democrat. While it was unclear at first who was responsible for the outburst, Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) admitted today that it was he. In a statement, Neugebauer apologized, but insisted that his “baby killer” rhetoric referred to the bill and were not personally directed at Stupak:
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. 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.
“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.”
Neugebauer is one of the House’s most right wing lawmakers and has espoused birther beliefs. When asked in June by a local radio host whether President Obama is a U.S. citizen, Neugebauer said, “You know I don’t know. I’ve never seen him produce documents that would say one way or another.” He is also one of only 11 co-sponsors of Rep. Bill Posey’s (R-FL) bill that would require all future presidential candidates to present their original birth certificate. Ironically, when Politico asked if he would present his own birth certificate, Neugebauer explicitly refused. His staff instead sent a one-line e-mail response: “Congressman Neugebauer will not be submitting a copy of his birth certificate.”
The oil and gas industry is by far Neugebauer’s biggest source of campaign contributions; banks, financial firms, and the insurance industry are among his top five industry donors. Neugebauer has advocated for a weak consumer protection agency in the proposed financial regulatory reform bill — “exactly what the bank lobbyists who appeared before the committee” wanted.
And like many of his fellow Republicans, Neugebauer is a stimulus hypocrite. He voted against the stimulus twice and called it a “massive boondoggle” that “has failed to get people back to work.” But according to the Houston Chronicle, he signed a letter in support of stimulus funds for NASA, saying it would help “secure good jobs and stabilize our economy.”
CREW reported last year that Neugebauer “asked the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to allow him to let his campaign pay Neugebauer for the use of his yacht — for fundraisers.”
,In 2005, Neugebauer voted for an amendment that would have cut non-security discretionary spending, resulting in deep cuts for programs like Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides food, health care referrals and other support to low-income pregnant women and new mothers. At the time, the Food Research and Action Center warned that proposed cuts “could significantly reduce funding for the WIC Program in future years.”