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Sunday
Jan092011

Lawmakers Plan Security Review, No Votes Next Week In Wake of Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sunday afternoon the House leadership, including John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, held an extraordinary bi-partisan call to brief members on the Arizona shooting and the Congressional response.   

Speaker Boehner announced there will be a bi-partisan security briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday by the Capitol Police, Sergeant at Arms and FBI.

Also on Wednesday, the House will convene to pass a resolution honoring Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of the shooting.  To allow for members to attend any possible memorial services, and for the Arizona delegation to remain at home, this will not be a recorded vote.  In fact, there will be no votes at all in the House next week.

On the call, Boehner spent some time talking about Gabe Zimmerman, the Giffords staffer killed in the shooting.

“As a staffer, Gabe Zimmerman gave his life doing his job -- serving the people, and helping his boss carry out the sacred duty of representing the people of Arizona’s 8th Congressional district,” Boehner said, according to a transcript of his remarks released by his office.

There was some discussion of security.  Members were reminded to take common sense precautions, such as advising local law enforcement of their events.

There will be a lot of discussion of security in the coming days, but don’t expect any major security changes as a result of this shooting.   Nobody is suggesting metal detectors at town hall meetings, for example.  Members have been reminded to take common sense precautions and inform local law enforcement of their events.  But being out with people in their districts is the very essence of a member of Congress’s job and it is not going to change.

By all accounts this call was civil, with a lot of talk about the need to respond to the shooting as one Congress, not as two parties.  There was none of the finger-pointing about heated rhetoric that we’ve seen on many of the blogs.  That said, there is a sense that this may be a catalyst for a slight toning down of the political vitriol.  

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ABC News Radio