By Jared Allen - 03/22/10 03:08 AM EDT
A House Republican shouted "baby killer" at Rep.
Bart Stupak on the House floor during the brief debate of the
Republican motion against the reconciliation bill.
The member could not immediately be identified. A number of Democrats shouted back "Who was that?" but to no avail.
Stupak, a leader of the anti-abortion Democrats, was speaking in opposition of the Republican motion to recommit the reconciliation bill. The Republican motion was Stupak's abortion restriction language.
When Stupak began speaking against the motion, a number of Republicans shouted "It's your bill!" Those remarks drew laughs from the GOP side of the aisle.
But a loud groan erupted when the phrase "baby killer" slipped off the lips of a Republican member with what sounded to a number of reporters like a southern accent.
Early reports that Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.) was the member to shout "baby killer" were quickly rejected by Campbell himself, who came out to the Speaker's Lobby to put such reports to bed.
"It was someone with a southern accent," Campbell said. "It wasn't me."
Campbell said he was unable to tell who the remark came from.
"No," Campbell responded when asked if he thought the comment was appropriate.
Campbell did indicate the should came from a member of the Republican conference.
Democrats lost 21 of their members on the motion, which failed on a 199-232 vote.
Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) said he knew which Republican yelled at Stupak but said he didn't see the purpose of naming
Obey spent Sunday night in the Speaker's chair presiding over the floor debate and vote. Asked if the yeller violated House rules, Obey said, "Of course."
Then he added, "I figure members have a right to make an idiot of themselves once without being exposed."
Walter Alarkon contributed to this story.