by the NACHC Federal Affairs Staff
We are sure that all of you – like all of us at NACHC – were stunned and saddened to learn of Saturday’s shooting at a Tucson, Arizona shopping center during a constituent event sponsored by Representative Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords (D-AZ). As you probably know, a total of 20 people were shot. Of these, 6 people were fatally injured (including a federal judge and 30-year-old staffer of Representative Giffords). Representative Giffords and thirteen others were wounded. Representative Giffords remains hospitalized at University of Arizona Medical Center, and doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that the Congresswoman will recover. While this news would be horrifying any circumstances, we in the health centers movement are particularly saddened to learn about Representative’s Giffords injury given her strong support of health centers during her time in Congress. For a statement on the attack from NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden, please click here.
Over the weekend and into today, we have seen an outpouring of support for the people harmed during this incident and the family members and friends of those who were injured or died. We have also seen federal officials – from President Obama to Speaker Boehner and other Congressional leaders – united in their repudiation of this act of violence; efforts to reassure Members of Congress, their families, and their staffers of their safety; and well wishes for Representative Gifford’s and others’ recovery.
In the immediate aftermath of this tragedy, House leaders announced a postponement of the debate and vote on repeal of the health care reform law. Instead, the House will focus this week on consideration of at least one resolution honoring Representative Giffords and those killed in Saturday’s attack and hold a bipartisan meeting on the safety of lawmakers. Time will tell when the debate on health reform repeal will resume and the extent to which legislative proposals in response to this attack will feature prominently on the Congressional agenda.
Until then, we wish the best possible outcome for all those impacted by this weekend’s events. Our deepest condolences go out to those who lost a loved one, and we will continue to keep the Congresswoman and others who sustained injury in our thoughts and prayers.