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Daily Archives: January 12, 2011

Speaker John Boehner : Honoring Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

John Boehner

By : Speaker John Boehner

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YOUTUBE : Speaker Boehner’s Remarks on Resolution Condemning the Attack in Tucson, AZ


Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) gave these remarks Wednesday morning on the House floor :

Washington DC. Jan 12 (KATAKAMI / THE HILL.COM) — Today, we are called here to mourn.  An unspeakable act of violence has taken six innocent lives, and left several more – including our colleague, Gabrielle Giffords – battling for theirs.  These are difficult hours for our country.

Among the fallen is Gabe Zimmerman, a member of Congresswoman Giffords’ staff … a public servant of the highest caliber … one of our own.

Even in our shock, we are composed and determined to fulfill our calling to represent our constituents.  This is the great cause for which Gabe gave his life.  Like us, Gabe swore on oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.  At the time of the attack, he was engaged in the most simple and direct of democratic rituals: listening to the people … to his neighbors.

The brutality that shattered Saturday morning’s calm was devastating, but brief.  Bravery and quick thinking prevented a massacre, turning innocent bystanders into heroes.  The service and skill of first responders and medical professionals saved lives.  Law enforcement officials are working to ensure swift justice.  Look to Tucson right now, and you will be reminded that America’s most plentiful source of wealth and strength is her people.

We are so thankful Gabby is still with us.  We are so thankful that two of her staffers who were also wounded – Ron Barber and Pam Simon – are still with us.  These are days they were not supposed to see, and we can only pray there will be more of them.

In her stead, Gabby’s staff has pressed on, opening for business Monday morning, right on schedule.  The men and women who faithfully serve the people of Arizona’s Eighth Congressional District have signaled that no act – no matter how heinous – will stop us from doing our duty and being among the people we serve.

To all of the dedicated professionals we rely on to make this institution work, to each of you: thank you for what you do.  To Gabby’s staff – and their families: please know that our hearts and prayers go out to you.

This body has yet to fully register the magnitude of this tragedy.  We feel a litany of unwanted emotions no resolution could possibly capture.  We know that we gather here without distinction of party.  The needs of this institution have always risen above partisanship.  And what this institution needs right now is strength – holy, uplifting strength.  The strength to grieve with the families of the fallen, to pray for the wounded, and to chart a way forward, no matter how painful and difficult it may be.

Today it is not ceremony, but tragedy that stirs us to renew our commitment to fulfill our oaths of office.  Let us not let this inhuman act frighten us into doing otherwise.  The free exchange of ideas is the lifeblood of our democracy, as prescribed by the First Amendment, that beacon of free expression Congresswoman Giffords recited in this well just days ago.  These rights have not been handed down by dictate – they have been preserved and protect through generations of hard sacrifice and commitment.  We will continue this unfinished work.

We will do it for Christina Taylor Green, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorwan Stoddard, ordinary citizens who died participating in their democracy.  We will do it for Judge John Roll.  We will do it for Gabe Zimmerman.  And we will do it, God-willing, with Gabrielle Giffords.

Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is not.  This is a time for the House to lock arms, in prayer for those fallen and wounded, and in resolve to carry on the dialogue of democracy.  We may not yet have all the answers, but we already have the answer that matters most: that we are Americans, and together we will make it through this.  We will have the last word.

God bless this House.  God bless this Congress.  God bless America.  (*)

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U.S. Congress Pays Tribute to Arizona Shooting Victims

Members of Congress and staff members observe a moment of silence for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and other shooting victims, Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, on the East Steps of the Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. Giffords was shot Saturday in a Tucson shooting rampage that left six people dead. Pictured from ninth left to right: Wilson Livingood, Sergeant at Arms, U.S. House of Representatives; Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.; Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.; Steve Lawrence, chief of staff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif.; Barry Jackson chief of staff to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio; Del. Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.; and Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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Washington DC, Jan 12 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have strongly condemned a mass shooting in Arizona that killed six people and wounded a U.S. congresswoman.

House Speaker John Boehner submitted a resolution Wednesday honoring those killed and expressing hope for the recovery of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others who were wounded.

The resolution pays tribute by name to the six people killed in the attack, including a nine-year-old girl and a federal judge.

Giffords was meeting her constituents outside a grocery store in the city of Tucson when a gunman opened fire. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said it is especially tragic that the shooting took place as people participated in activity that she said “reflects the best of our democratic tradition.”

U.S. President Barack Obama and the first lady travel to Arizona Wednesday to attend a memorial service for the victims.

Twenty-two-year-old Jared Loughner is accused of carrying out the attack.

If convicted he could get life in prison or the death penalty.

Giffords is being treated at an Arizona hospital for a gunshot wound to the head. Doctors say she has shown signs of improvement. She can breathe on her own and continues to respond to simple commands. But they say recovery will take time.

Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.

It was the first deadly attack against a U.S. member of Congress since 1978, when California Representative Leo Ryan was killed in Guyana, while visiting the compound of a U.S.-based cult known as Jonestown.

Loughner’s family released a statement Tuesday expressing deep remorse for the shooting, saying they cannot understand why it happened.

Investigators found handwritten notes at Loughner’s home with Giffords’ name, the words “I planned ahead” and “My assassination.” Some of the writings were scrawled on a letter Giffords’ office sent to the suspect in 2007 after he attended one of her political events.  (*)

 
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Photos released from Giffords’ hospital room

The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has provided the public with the first images from the congresswomans hospital room. (Above, below: Mark Kelly clasps hands with his wife Giffords at her bedside. Photo : YAHOO )

The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has provided the public with the first images from the congresswoman's hospital room. (Above, below: Mark Kelly clasps hands with his wife Giffords at her bedside. Photo : YAHOO )

 
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Today the House will take up a resolution condemning the attack in Arizona

The US flag flies at half-staff outside the US Capitol on January 9, 2011, in memory of the victims of the January 8 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, which killed a US Judge and gravely wounded a US Congresswoman. In a brief statement Sunday morning, House Speaker John Boehner said flags on the House side of the Capitol in Washington will be flown at half-mast to honor the slain aide of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Gabe Zimmerman. Thirty-year-old Zimmerman was among six killed during a shooting rampage that left the Democratic congresswoman among 13 wounded. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Jan 12 (KATAKAMI / SPEAKER.GOV) — On Wednesday morning, beginning at around 10:00 AM, the House will consider a resolution condemning the brutal attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords as she met with constituents in Tucson, AZ.  Speaker John Boehner says the resolution, which can be found here, will also recognize the bravery of those who “helped subdue the attacker and save lives.”

Says Boehner:

“The House will lock arms tomorrow and – as one body – condemn the brutal attack in Arizona and express our profound condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and wounded.  We will recognize the bravery of those on scene whose courage helped subdue the attacker and save lives – including that of our friend and colleague, Gabrielle Giffords.  And as the resolution itself reads, we will reaffirm our belief in ‘a democracy in which all can participate and in which intimidation and threats of violence cannot silence the voices of any American.”  (*)

 
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John Boehner opposes gun-free zone measure

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference as he reads a statement condemning the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., at the West Chester Township Hall in West Chester, Ohio, Sunday Jan. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (KATAKAMI / UPI) — House Speaker John Boehner opposes a gun control bill proposed by a fellow Republicans in response to the Tucson shootings, his spokesman says.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee said Tuesday he would introduce legislation forbidding anyone to carry firearms within 1,000 feet of members of Congress.

King said the legislation is meant to protect the public as well as officials.

“The fact is they do represent the people who elect them, and it’s essential, if we’re going to continue to have contact, that the public who are at these meetings are ensured of their own safety,” he said.

Spokesman Michael Steel told The Hill Boehner, R-Ohio, would not support King’s legislation while the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said he would have to review the measure before taking a position.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., also are preparing legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines like those used by alleged Arizona gunman Jared Loughner. But Rep. James Moran, D-Va., said: “Anything you can get through the gun lobby is going to have little consequence. I don’t see the likelihood of much progress.”  (*)

 
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Speaker Boehner: No New Gun Control

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) speaks about the shooting in Arizona during a news conference in West Chester, Ohio, January 9, 2011. A gunman shot U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head, seriously wounding her, and killed six other people in a shooting rampage at a public meeting in Tucson on Saturday. REUTERS/Jay LaPrete

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Jan 12 (KATAKAMI / FRUMFORUM.COM) — The Hill reports:

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is rejecting gun-control legislation offered by the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee in response to the weekend shootings of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 19 others in Arizona.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) announced plans Tuesday to introduce legislation prohibiting people from carrying guns within 1,000 feet of members of Congress.

King, who has previously called for the removal of illegal guns from the streets, made the announcement alongside New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation’s loudest voices for stricter gun laws.

King said the legislation is not intended only for the safety of government officials but also to protect the public. He said elected officials are not necessarily more important than constituents, but by protecting them in this way, they would feel safer in meeting federal officials at public events.

“The fact is they do represent the people who elect them, and it’s essential, if we’re going to continue to have contact, that the public who are at these meetings are ensured of their own safety,” King said.

King’s legislation got the cold shoulder from Boehner and other Republicans after it was announced.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said the Speaker would not support King’s legislation.

The office of Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the majority leader is reserving judgment until the King bill is finalized.

“Mr. Cantor believes it’s appropriate to adequately review and actually read legislation before forming an opinion about it,” Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring stated in an e-mail.

The immediate rejection of King’s legislation by Boehner illustrates the difficulty gun-control advocates will face in moving forward with any legislation.  (*)

 
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Photostream : German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) listens to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi upon his arrival at the Chancellery in Berlin January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on January 12, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Berlusconi is in Berlin to participate in German-Italian governmental consultations, and a major topic of discussion will be measures for stabilizing the Euro. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shake hands as they pose for the media after they address a news conference following their bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi address a news conference following their bilateral talks at the Chancellery in Berlin January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle arrive for a group photo of the Italian and German government delegations at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on January 12, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Berlusconi is in Berlin to participate in German-Italian governmental consultations, and a major topic of discussion will be measures for stabilizing the Euro. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi by the arm in order to allow space for wheelchair-bound German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble prior to a group photo of the two countries' delegations at the Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) on January 12, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Berlusconi is in Berlin to participate in German-Italian governmental consultations, and a major topic of discussion will be measures for stabilizing the Euro. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 
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