Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) was the lone “no” vote. Though he didn’t explicitly explain his decision, he alluded to his vote later in the day during a speech advocating the flat tax.
“To keep spending and not pay the price, that is immoral,” Gohmert said. “That’s why we shouldn’t eliminate the word ‘lunatic.’ It really has application around this town.”
“We want to eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from the federal code?” he asked later. “That’s lunacy.”
“Federal law should reflect the 21st century understanding of mental illness and disease, and that the continued use of this pejorative term has no place in the U.S. Code,” Conrad said at the time.
More than three dozen mental-health advocacy groups backing the bill said that deleting the word “is a simple means of demonstrating respect for individuals living with mental health conditions and will have no effect on the underlying federal laws.”
Before Congress voted to eliminate “lunatic,” the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency confirmed that striking the word would have no affect on banking laws.
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