A Vote to Honor Giffords

By Chris Good

The House of Representatives was planning to vote on health care repeal this week. Instead, it will vote to honor Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, after the shooting that has left her in critical condition.


Republican leaders announced Saturday night that legislative business would be postponed in the wake of the shooting. Here's the announcement from Majority Leader Eric Cantor: 

All legislation currently scheduled to be considered by the House of Representatives next week is being postponed so that we can take whatever actions may be necessary in light of today's tragedy. Further information relating to a revised House schedule will be released tomorrow.

The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution honoring Giffords and the 17 other shooting victims, Cantor announced Sunday on a conference call with 800 representatives, staff, and family members. See the readout of the call here.

A recorded vote won't be taken, meaning the measure will be passed by voice, with "aye"s spoken aloud. If members do not make it back to Washington on Tuesday, their names won't be entered into the Congressional Record as not having voted to honor their colleague.

While Congress is typically in session Tuesday through Thursday each week, Cantor announced that the House would open a pro forma session on Tuesday, a nominal work period in which the House is technically in session, but most members are not present and no votes are taken.

Before Saturday's shooting, Republicans were gearing up for a vote Wednesday on health care repeal. That vote will be postponed, according to Cantor's announcement Saturday night, with the vote to honor Giffords replacing it on the legislative agenda for the coming week.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/a-vote-to-honor-giffords/69167/