House to vote on resolution authorizing ‘timeouts’ for unruly Congressmen

by William Moultrie

Washington, DC – In response to Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R, SC-02) recent outburst during a presidential address to Congress, as well as to a growing breakdown in decorum in the House chamber, a vote has been schedule to institute some peace-keeping measures.  The controversial proposal, if implemented, would put a number of new disciplinary powers in the hands of the Speaker of the House, a position currently held by Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC-02)

Rep. Joe "the Heckler" Wilson says he will not be muzzled.

The proposed measures include:

  • A “cooling-off” period, where the an individual deemed disruptive to the body will be asked to take a seat near the front of the chamber and not talk for 15 minutes.
  • A temporary seating realignment, where a group of two or more individuals creating a disruption will be assigned to unoccupied seats not in proximity to each other.
  • The installation of a device to indicate the current disruption level. The rectangular display will feature a green light on the bottom, indicating everything is fine; a yellow light in the middle, warning that decorum is wearing thin; and a red light at the top, that would require all talking in the chamber to cease immediately.
  • In addition, members who continue to speak out of turn or in a manner deemed offensive will be asked to stay in the Capitol after the evening’s adjournment for a special session. Members attending the special session will be allowed to bring work with them but won’t be allowed to talk to other participants.

Predictably, response to the proposal has been divided along party lines.

“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said Speaker Pelosi. “Things are getting out of hand and we need to regain control. This isn’t about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about the representatives of the American people being able to do what they’ve been sent to Washington to do. There is no reason to think a Republican congressman would be any more likely to be impacted by these rules than a Democrat.”

“She’s insane,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner. “All she wants to do is find ways to punish Republicans and wrest more power away from hard-working Americans. Well, it’s not going to work. She may be able to pass her little rules and regulations here in the Capitol, but I’d like to see her try to stifle the truth in the town halls across this country. Seriously, I’d like to see her bring her little stoplight to my district.”

Rep. Wilson, whose actions helped to prompt the creation of these disciplinary rules, also addressed the issue.

“This is clearly aimed at stifling the revolution that’s happening in America right now,” Wilson said, “Republicans are the only ones brave enough to tell the truth, to point out the hypocricy, to call a spade a … um, I mean to call the president out on his lies. That’s right, I said it, lies. I’ll say it again. Lies!”

“Conservatives in this country are being hunted down like dogs,” Wilson continued. “We are being persecuted for our beliefs, yet we are the last defense between the United States of America’s insurance companies and the capitalism and freedom they represent, and the Marxist Obama regime that would strip away our freedom of choice and then charge us for the trouble. Did you know that under Joseph Stalin, not a single Soviet citizen had access to MRIs or even mamograms? Is that really the kind of medicine we want to practice in this country? I don’t think so.”

Democrats currently hold a large majority in the House and are expected to easily pass the resolution. Republicans are planning to protest the vote by boycotting it, calling in sick, and all going to see the noon showing of Inglourious Basterds at Union Station.

“I really don’t see what they’re getting all worked up about,” said Speaker Pelosi. “I remember back in 1995, one of the first things (Speaker Newt) Gingrich did was to propose corporal punishment for certain members. In fact, he told me that he was going to personally adminster it and that I should… wait… that’s not right… you know, I’m thinking of something else that happened in my office. Regardless, though, this is just an effort to restore order, and as long as everyone plays by the rules that have been in place for centuries, they have nothing to worry about.”

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