Tuesday's short resolution said Wilson's conduct was a "breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House."
The Office of the House Historian said the resolution marked the first time in the 220-year history of the House that a member had been admonished for speaking out while the president was giving an address. A resolution of disapproval is less severe than other disciplinary action available to the House, including censure or expulsion.
It's OK for Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) or Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) to call GWB a "liar" -- or the Dems to BOO the President during a State of the Union address -- with no official rebuke.
Decorum hasn’t always been the rule in the House, as related in Robert Remini’s 2006 history of the chamber. Debates turned especially nasty during the 1850s, in the buildup to the Civil War, wrote Remini, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a National Book Award winner.
In his book “The House,” Remini wrote that harsh words exchanged by lawmakers over slavery-related issues sparked one “melee” in which “fifty or more representatives rushed at one another. They wrestled, shoved and punched one another as the Speaker, James L. Orr of South Carolina, pleaded for order.”
“The madness finally turned to comedy,” Remini wrote, when “John F. ‘Bowie-Knife’ Potter of Wisconsin reached for the hair of William Barksdale of Mississippi and pulled off his wig. ‘I’ve scalped him,’ cried the startled Potter, which set the whole house laughing. And that ended the melee.”