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House on Hold

January 9, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

In the wake of the shooting Saturday in Tuscon, Arizona, the Republican House leadership has decided to postpone all major legislative activity for the week. That means the bill to repeal the health care law, which was originally scheduled for debate on Tuesday and a vote on Wednesday, will be pushed back until next week.

Here’s the text of Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor’s [R, VA-7] letter to members of the House announcing his decision to postpone legislative work for the week:

“In consultation with the Speaker and the Democratic Leadership, I have postponed all previously-scheduled legislation for the coming week to accommodate any action needed in light of yesterday’s tragic events in Arizona.

“The House will meet on Tuesday in pro forma session and there will be no votes or legislative business expected for that day.

“On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business and we will consider at least one resolution honoring Representative Giffords and honoring those who have fallen, including Federal Judge John Roll and Gabe Zimmerman, a member of Congresswoman Giffords’ congressional staff.

“At the request of bipartisan Members from the Arizona delegation and the Democratic Leadership, it is my intention to not have a recorded vote for the resolution. As Members know, however, we cannot assure that a recorded vote will not be requested. We will continue to be in close contact with the Democratic Leadership regarding those matters, along with the substance of the resolution, and will relay them as they become available.

“For now, it is my recommendation that all Members of the House who can, return to Washington to honor those who have fallen and to receive any necessary security briefings from the U.S. Capitol Police. I will defer on the latter issue to the Speaker and the Sergeant At Arms.”

It’s unclear at this point what this action Cantor is referring to that may need accommodating is, though there has been some mention of beefing up security at downhill events like the one Giffords was at when the shooting occurred.

On the Senate side, no statements have been released yet indicating that they will postpon their legilative work for the week. We’ll keep you updated.

Again, our hearts go out to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords [D, AZ-8], the other victims of the attack, and their families.

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