Health Care Repeal Vote Postponed; Boehner Says 'Inhuman Event' Will Not 'Stop Us From Our Duty'

January 9, 2011 - 7:41 AM

Giffords shooting-scene

Law enforcement officers outside a Safeway store after a gunman targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ari.) opened fire in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011. (AP Photo/James Palka)

(CNSNews.com) - Because of the mass shooting in Arizona, House Republicans have postponed all legislation to be considered on the House floor in the coming week, including a vote to repeal the Democrats' health care legislation.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was quoted as saying that lawmakers need to “take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today’s tragedy.”

Rep. Gabrille Giffords voted for the health care bill and reportedly received threats for doing so. According to the Associated Press, someone kicked in or shot out a glass door and side window at Giffords' office in Tucson a few hours after the House passed the health care measure last March.

In a televised statement at 8:30 a.m. EST Sunday morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said flags on the House side of the Capitol will be flown at half-mast in memory of Gabe Zimmerman, a member of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ staff, who died “in the line of duty” in Tucson on Saturday.

“An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Such acts of violence have no place in our society,” Boehner said.

Zimmerman was one of six people killed when a 22-year-old man, described as mentally unbalanced by the Pima County sheriff, opened fire outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords was meeting with constituents. Giffords was one of 13 people injured. She remains in critical condition as of Sunday morning.

In a televised statement from his home state of Ohio Sunday, the House speaker also reminded Americans that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has postponed normal business in the House of Representatives for the next week so that “we can take necessary action regarding yesterday’s event.”

Boehner asked House members and their staffs to keep “Gabby” and her staff “in our thoughts and prayers."

Boehner said although public service is a high honor, “these tragic events remind us that all of us in our roles of service to our fellow citizens comes with a risk. This inhuman act should not and will not deter us from our calling to represent our constituents and to fulfill our oaths of office. No act, no matter how heinous, must be allowed to stop us from our duty.”

On Saturday, Bohner issued a statement condemning the attack:

“I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff.  An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.  Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society.  Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families.  This is a sad day for our country."