Texas Rep. Randy Neugebauer says he was the Republican House member who called out "baby killer" during the chamber's debate Sunday night on the health care reform bill.
Neugebauer issued a statement Monday apologizing for the outburst. His statement said he called out, "It's a baby killer," in reference to a last-minute deal between Michigan Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak and the White House that secured the support of Stupak and other anti-abortion Democrats for the health care bill.
"Last night was the climax of weeks and months of debate on a health care bill that my constituents fear and do not support," Neugebauer's statement said. "In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase 'it's a baby killer' in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership."
The interruption occurred as Stupak was delivering an emotional speech defending the deal with the White House that called for President Barack Obama to issue an executive order guaranteeing that the health care bill would not change existing limits on federal funding for abortion. The phrase yelled by Neugebauer was initially believed to have been directed at Stupak personally.
"While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself," Neugebauer's statement said.
"I have apologized to Mr. Stupak and also apologize to my colleagues for the manner in which I expressed my disappointment about the bill," the statement concluded. "The House Chamber is a place of decorum and respect. The timing and tone of my comment last night was inappropriate."
The incident evoked memories of Rep. Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, who yelled "you lie" during Obama's health care speech to a joint session of Congress in September. Wilson also apologized, and the House formally reprimanded Wilson for the outburst.
- CNN's Brianna Keilar contributed to this story