(CNSNews.com) - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Friday that Congress will not give up its efforts to save the life of Terri Schindler Schiavo.
"This is not over. We haven't stopped working on it. We will fight for Terri's life and spend all the time necessary to do that," DeLay (R-Texas) said. "So, to friends, family and millions of people praying around the world this Palm Sunday weekend don't be afraid. Terri Schiavo will not be forsaken.""
Terri's gastrostomy (nutrition and hydration tube) was scheduled to be removed under court order at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) Friday. As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the House Government Reform Committee issued subpoenas Friday morning to stop that from happening. Pinellas Circuit Court Chief Judge David Demers temporarily blocked the removal of the tube, but Pinellas-Pasco County Circuit Judge George Greer ordered doctors to go ahead with the removal a short time later.
"That act of barbarism can be and must be prevented," DeLay said.
The Texas Republican blamed three Senate Democrats for the failure to pass the House version of the Incapacitated Persons Protection Act (H.R. 1151) earlier Friday.
"Those senators responsible for blocking our bill yesterday afternoon - Senator (Barbara) Boxer (D-Calif.), Senator (Ron) Wyden (D-Ore.) and Senator (Carl) Levin (D-Mich.) - have put Mrs. Schiavo's life at risk to prove a point; an unprecedented profile of cowardice," DeLay said.
"The American people are not interested in squabbles between Republicans and Democrats and between the House and the Senate," DeLay said. "They care and we care about saving Terri Schiavo's life. The House bill will do that."
Wyden defended his opposition to the legislation on the Senate floor.
"I am troubled at the prospect of setting a precedent that is going to have the Congress, in effect, playing medical czar in case after case," Wyden explained, "because, colleagues, there will be thousands of cases just like this."
But DeLay agreed with more than a dozen medical professionals - both independent and those retained by Terri's family - who believe that Terri is not in a 'Persistent Vegetative State' as declared by Judge Greer.
"Terri Schiavo is alive. She's not, 'just barely alive.' She's not, 'being kept alive.' She is as alive as you and I," DeLay said, "and, as such, we have a moral obligation to protect and defend her from the fate premeditated by the Florida courts."
The House majority leader also urged the Florida state Legislature to again intervene in the case.
"That's where the real answer comes from," DeLay said. Florida lawmakers failed Thursday to agree on new legislation to block the removal of the feeding tube, but DeLay promised that the House would continue to work through the weekend to prevent the court from denying Terri food and fluids.
To view the archive of the Cybercast News Service's coverage on Terri Schindler Schiavo, click here.
E-mail a comment or news tip to Jeff Johnson.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.