Politico has the story:
House Democrats dealt South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson a formal rebuke Wednesday, taking the rare step of passing a resolution of disapproval for his famous “you lie!” outburst last week in the House chamber.
The vote was 240-179, falling almost exclusively along party lines.
While Democrats said they were defending the rules of the House and enforcing the traditional decorum of the chamber, Republicans mounted a fierce attack on the resolution, saying it was a waste of time after Wilson had duly apologized to President Barack Obama for his outburst during a joint address to Congress. While a resolution of disapproval is little more than a slap on the wrist, a formal roll call vote like this – permanently entered into the Congressional Record – is extremely rare.
“What’s at issue here is of importance to the House and of importance to the country,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer proclaimed during the hour-long debate preceding the vote. “This House cannot stay silent.”
Wilson’s South Carolina colleague, Rep. James Clyburn, was the driving force behind the resolution:
In the run-up to today’s disapproval resolution against Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), it’s become clear that House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) has taken the lead in pushing for the resolution, even over Speaker Pelosi’s initial inclination to see that matter as closed. But it’s also clear that Clyburn’s push for a formal apology from Wilson is rooted in a long and troubled relationship between the most senior African-American politician in South Carolina and a four-term congressman who until recently was best known as a die-hard proponent of keeping the Confederate flag flying over the State Capitol in Columbia.
Indeed, the friction has popped up quite recently. Clyburn recently told the Washington Post that he was particularly incensed when Wilson held a town hall at a high school in Columbia — which Clyburn says is in his district, and is the place where his children went to school. “He came into my district, the high school where my kids went, where I was an officer in the [Parent Teacher Association], and that was on purpose,” Clyburn said. “That was as unethical as one can be, and he didn’t say one word to me about it.”
Clyburn also said that cracking down on Wilson is a matter surviving in the cut-throat politics of South Carolina. “In South Carolina politics, I learned that the olive branch works very seldom,” said Clyburn. “You have to come at these things from a position of strength. My father used to say, ‘Son, always remember that silence gives consent.’”