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Posted at 3:08 PM ET, 01/ 9/2011

Congressional leaders urge unity in call to members on Gabrielle Giffords shooting

By Lois Romano

Updated: 8:30 p.m.

Some 800 Republican and Democratic Congress members and spouses took part in an extraordinary conference call Sunday in which party leaders pleaded for everyone to come together in the wake of the shooting in Tucson that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)

"At a time when an individual has shown us humanity at its worst, we must rise to the occasion for our nation and show Congress at its best," new Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) told the group during a call that lasted more than an hour, according to a statement released by his office. "This is a time for the House to pull together as an institution -- one body, unified in our common purpose of serving the American people and fighting for the freedom and justice guaranteed to all by our Constitution."

It was a joint call for both party caucuses; another such call is scheduled for Wednesday.

Among those who spoke were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.); Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.); Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.); sergeant at arms William Livingood, who briefed on security; and representatives from the FBI and Giffords's staff.

The group was briefed in detail on Giffords' condition. She was among 20 shot in the incident. Six were killed. Members were also told on the call that Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of United States Congress, was heading to Arizona.

Although there are no planned votes this week, Cantor encouraged members to return to Congress for prayers and security briefing.

By Lois Romano  | January 9, 2011; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: House joint caucus conference on security to be held Wednesday

Comments

Prayer? Somewhere in Scripture, it says, "the prayers of the righteous avail much". But the prayers of Boehner, who has been lying to the public for years? That won't avail much at all.

Posted by: Syllogizer | January 9, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Whata godforsaken mess the state of Arizona is. Rightwing nuthood. Please apologize to our country, Arizona. And let's hear no more from, Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh.

Posted by: dudh | January 9, 2011 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps Boehner would rather we forget his own contributions to the hot political rhetoric leading up to the shootings in Arizona, such as his cries of "ARMAGEDDON !!!" when health care reform was passed in the House of Representatives.

"They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind."

Posted by: HughBriss | January 9, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

"This is a time for the House to pull together as an institution -- one body, unified in our common purpose of serving the American people and fighting for the freedom and justice guaranteed to all by our Constitution."

Got that right Boehner, when are you going to start? No time like the present.

Posted by: boleson02 | January 9, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party = Murderers.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 9, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Giffords was also among a group of Democratic House candidates featured on the Web site of Sarah Palin’s political action committee with cross hairs over their districts, a fact that disturbed Ms. Giffords at the time.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.”


and


"After that, during her re-election campaign, protesters gathered on most Saturdays on the same corner shouting and holding signs that said things like “Gabby, You’re Gone.”

“On a typical Saturday this corner is filled with Tea Party protesters,” said Brenda Tyler, who was with her husband, Lyndon. “I’ve seen signs saying things like ‘It’s time to reload’ and ‘One way or another, you’re gone.”‘ A real estate agency in the neighborhood had a sign out front that said “Goodbye Gabby” and showed the silhouette of a witch on a broom,” she said. It had been taken down on Saturday. "

Tell me that this doesn't create an atmosphere for the unhinged to do their bidding.

Posted by: FoundingMother | January 9, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Step up and lead leaders!

I've waited all day for TV programming to be interrupted to cover a press conference where Obama stands in from of a group consisting of Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, McConnell, Chief Justice Roberts, RNC Chairman Steele, and DNC Chairman Keene to say that every person on the podium joins him in a pledge to work to tone down the inflammatory speech that divides us. They then need to get their butts on an airplane and participate in a memorial service for all of the people who died in Tucson.

Next, those that employ the commentators who have played a key role in the decline of civil discourse in the US (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Keith Olbermann) need to make it clear to these overpaid showman that they were not hired to carry out Osama bin Laden's mission of destroying the United States and will, in the future adhere to minimum standards of civil discourse on the air. If they can't express their political opinions without lying, exaggerating, and using hateful hyperbole to describe fellow Americans who happen to disagree with them, the networks need to find someone who can.

Finally, we need a few hungry plaintiff lawyers to begin connecting the dots. Find out whose hate speech influenced the guy who stabbed the cab driver in New York during the trumped up Ground Zero Mosque circus. Find out whose hate speech influenced Loughner. If there is a shred of evidence that they had even an inkling that someone was planning to act on their words, sue them.

Posted by: exco | January 9, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The blood of 9-year-old Christina Green and all those other people is on the hands of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman and the T (errorist) Party.

Posted by: jjedif | January 9, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among a group of Democratic House candidates who were featured on the Web site of Sarah Palin’s political action committee with cross hairs over their districts, a fact that disturbed Ms. Giffords at the time.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.”

Posted by: HughBriss | January 9, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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