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Thursday, September 10, 2009

South Carolina Congressman brings disgrace on Republicans during President’s Healthcare Speech

September 10, 2009

Francisco Lopez, Executive Director: (503) 269-5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director: (503) 488-0263

South Carolina Congressman brings disgrace on Republicans during President’s Healthcare Speech

In a shameful scene reminiscent of the summer Town Halls where right-wingers scream out insults and regurgitate misinformation at elected officials, a Congressman from South Carolina showed his true colors while disgracing his fellow Republicans.

Last night, while President Obama gave his speech on Health Care Reform in the United States House chamber, he addressed the fallacy being promoted by right-wing extremists that undocumented immigrants would receive benefits under his current healthcare reform proposal. In the course of the President’s statement, Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) screamed out “You lie!” In those two words, the out-of-control South Carolina Congressman committed an unprecedented “breach of protocol” in the House chamber, spread a lie himself and did serious damage to the reputation of the Republican Party.

Like most anti-healthcare and anti-immigration reform extremists, Representative Wilson attempted in vain to derail the President’s healthcare reform speech with a falsehood and an insult. All he accomplished was to demonstrate that he, like many other Republicans, has nothing valid to offer to the Health Care Reform discussion.

“Congressman Wilson did a serious disservice to his constituents and has brought disgrace to House Republicans,” said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA. “The attempt by right-wing extremists to derail the healthcare reform bill by using misinformation and immigration as a wedge issue is just more of the same obstructionism--heavy on rhetoric and weak on facts.”

According to the Senate Finance Committee’s framework for a health plan, it explicitly says "No illegal immigrants will benefit from the health care tax credits." Like many non-partisan fact checks have revealed over the summer, a CNN fact check responded to Wilson saying that “although the bill would require undocumented immigrants to purchase their own healthcare, they would not be eligible for public subsidies”. Section 242 of the House bill limits benefits to family members who are citizens or legal residents

After the President’s speech, Representative Wilson tried to save face by apologizing, but the damage was already done to his reputation and that of his fellow Republicans.

CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is the largest Hispanic civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit



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