Stark Language Angers Republicans

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Friday, October 19, 2007

The debate over the fate of the State Children's Health Insurance Program was a surprisingly desultory affair, marked by the occasional charge of "socialized medicine" from Republicans or "heartlessness" from Democrats.

Desultory, that is, until Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) grumbled at Republicans: "You don't have money to fund the war or children. But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."

In the wake of the failed veto override, clips of Stark's comments were posted on YouTube and were being e-mailed around by Republicans. GOP news releases have been furious. The National Republican Congressional Committee called Stark's statement "an outrageous and delusional tantrum."

Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) declared that Stark "dishonors not only the commander in chief, but the thousands of courageous men and women of America's armed forces who believe in their mission and are putting their lives on the line for our freedom and security." He called on Stark to apologize.

The 18-term congressman, however, responded only by calling those who voted to deny children health care "chicken hawks."

-- Jonathan Weisman


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