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By Neda Semnani Posted at 6:47 p.m. on Dec. 5, 2012
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, would like you to believe he is a lone wolf in a legislative branch filled with sheep.
On Wednesday, the House passed the 21st Century Language Act, which would “strike the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law.”
The bill was passed in both chambers with unanimous approval. Well, almost: Gohmert, the lone-wolf lawmaker, voted against striking the pejorative from the U.S. Code.
“Not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy,” he told HOH in an email, “we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington.”
The issue that the bill, sponsored by Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, attempts to address was brought to Conrad’s attention by one of his constituents. Changing language used to describe mental illness has widespread support, including from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Only Gohmert stood apart.
This isn’t his first time playing contrarian. The congressman made headlines in 2011 when he proposed legislation to make it legal for guns to be brought onto the House floor.
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Warren Rojas is a Heard on the Hill columnist for Roll Call, having previously worked as the founding dining editor for Northern Virginia Magazine and also as a tax reporter for Tax Notes. @WARojas
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