The United States House of Representatives, by a vote of 398-1 has decided to ban the word ‘lunatic’ from all federal legislation. The Senate took the same vote in May of this year. The bill, which will now go to President Obama for his signature, is designed to remove outdated and demeaning language from the US code. Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota and one of the sponsors of the measure, said: “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 US code.” The lone no vote was came from Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, who said it’s “madness for lawmakers to waste time on such a measure when more high-profile issues loomed, such as the federal debt”. He added, “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.” In addition to lunatic, Congress voted to ban, hare-brained, foolish, mad, crazy outrageous and ca-ca. Even if someone believes there’s the slightest validity to this vote, the timing does seem strange given the fast approaching fiscal cliff. On the positive side, when will our Representatives ever again achieve almost universal consensus?