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Floor Statement Condemning the Attacks in Arizona

Jan 12, 2011
Floor Statement

On the Resolution Condemning the Attacks in Arizona
January 12, 2011

Madam Speaker, My heart goes out to all of the victims of the terrible tragedy – those that were killed or injured, their families and the entire Tucson community. I extend my condolences to all of the members of the Arizona delegation.

My thoughts and prayers are with Gabby. I know she is a fighter. I recall our trip together to the Middle East. We met with the presidents of Israel, Lebanon and Syria before we traveled to Iraq, where we walked down the streets of Baghdad together. I was so impressed by her courage and commitment to the troops on the frontline.

It is unthinkable to me that Gabby was safer in Baghdad than here in her own country. Every American has a right to express their opinion on whatever issue they choose, but there is no place in our society for this kind of hatred and violence. No one should have to think twice about their safety when they go to speak to their Congressman or attend a town hall meeting. This has been an attack not only on Gabby, her staff and her innocent constituents, but the democratic process itself.

With every negative, we should put forth our best effort to find a positive. It is my hope that this horrific tragedy will bring our country and our Congress together. Our forefathers created a great system of government. Unfortunately, I don’t think the spiteful partisanship of today is what they had in mind. We must be tolerant of other views – to tone down the ill-natured rhetoric – and discuss our opinions respectfully. The negative and personal attacks against one other must stop.

I hope that Gabby makes a speedy recovery and can soon return to this floor where she will continue to be an example of courtesy and civility to us all. I yield the balance of my time.