House Is Briefed on Giffords

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The House of Representatives is out of session for the weekend, but after yesterday's tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona, members were briefed on the shooting during a conference call Sunday.

Over 800 representatives, staff, and family members joined the call, according to Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson.

Members heard from Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Larson, Nancy Pelosi, House Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood, Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse, Giffords's chief of staff Pia Carusone, and Dr. Malekiani of the Office of the Attending Physician.


Here's a readout of the call, forwarded by a congressional source:

This afternoon, a joint conference call of the Members of the House Democratic Caucus and Republican Conference occurred starting at approximately at 1:30 p.m. E.T. 

In addition to Members of the House bipartisan leadership, House Sergeant at Arms Livingood, Capitol Police Chief Morse, Giffords Chief of Staff Pia Carusone, and Dr. Christina Malekiani of the Office of the Attending Physician spoke.

Chairman Larson opened the call and stated the objectives of the call: schedule, remarks from security personnel, Dr. Malekiani, Pia Carusone and Members of the Leadership.  

Leader Cantor then joined the call and went through his announcement yesterday that legislative business has been postponed.  He announced that the House will be in pro forma on Tuesday with no votes scheduled.  Wednesday the House will be in to consider a resolution to honor Congresswoman Giffords as well as those who were injured or killed.  A recorded vote will not be requested by leadership.  

Speaker Boehner thanked the Larson and Hensarling for organizing the call, and thanked Leaders Pelosi and Cantor for being on the call.  He reiterated that House and Senate flags at the Capitol have been lowered to half-staff.  He announced that the House Sergeant at Arms, Capitol Police and FBI will hold a security briefing for Members on Wednesday.  He announced that the House Sergeant at Arms and Capitol Police will hold briefings for district staff as well.  

Leader Pelosi stated that we have always worked in a bipartisan way on security matters.  Said yesterday was a sad day for our country.  Our title and job description are the same: representative.  She stated she was pleased that the President, in their conversation yesterday, announced that the FBI would be coordinating the investigation.  Also, she commended the work of the physicians at the University Medical Center.  Specifically, she acknowledged the passing of Mr. Zimmerman.  Pelosi said she spoke with Mr. Kelly before the call today and he wanted to extend his thanks for the thoughts and prayers for Gabby to Members.  

Sergeant at Arms Bill Livingood then spoke.  Reminded Members and staff to always be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious circumstances to local police and to the Capitol Police Threat Assessment.  He then turned it over to Bill Morse, Chief of the Capitol Police.

Chief Morse announced that he had FBI personnel on the call.  Chief Morse announced that he had dispatched agents to Tucson to assist the FBI.  Chief Morse discussed recommendations about security for Members.  

Pia Carusone, Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Giffords, then spoke.  She thanked everyone for their support and gave an update on condition of Ms. Giffords and staff.  

Dr. Malekiani spoke.  Said Dr. Monahan, the Attending Physician, was en route to Arizona.  The doctor went through much of the information presented by medical personnel at their press conference today.  

Larson noted that over 800 Members, spouses and staff were on the call.  

Updated 12:09 p.m. Monday. Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse was incorrectly referred to as Bill.
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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