The latest news has Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) making progress in her fight to survive and overcome the injuries she sustained when a gunman attacked a community meeting she convened last weekend. (The New York Daily News story at the link above also has a chilling string of 9-11 calls—it’s a little too much for this site, but you can go there to hear it.)
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 32, to express its sense with respect to the shooting. It honors all the victims, but especially Rep. Giffords, and the heroes who did the right thing under extreme duress. To read the text, click on the link to the bill, scroll down to the “Learn More” box, and click on “Read the Bill.”
WashingtonWatch.com joins the House—and so many across the nation—in expressing our sympathy for the injured and condolences to the families of the dead. Such a terrible event.
H. Res. 32 is what we would consider “symbolic” legislation. It doesn’t affect anyone’s rights, government spending, or international affairs. And until the beginning of this Congress, we generally didn’t display such bills on this site. All those bills to rename post offices… We’re all about the rules that affect your life.
But, of course, events like the shooting affect your life, too. And seeing the symbolic actions Congress takes opens another window onto our national legislature, for good or bad. So at the beginning of this Congress we made a new policy to display all bills: substantive, symbolic, and organizational.
To illustrate, here are some of the other such bills introduced yesterday:
- H. Res. 33, Electing Members to certain standing committees of the House of Representatives;
- H. Res. 34, Expressing condolences to and solidarity with the people of the Commonwealth of Australia as they struggle against deadly floods that began on December 24, 2010;
- H. Res. 35, Recognizing the anniversary of the tragic earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, honoring those who lost their lives, and expressing continued solidarity with the Haitian people; and
- H. Res. 36, Recognizing the significance of Black History Month
These don’t affect you in a direct way, but they affect the way the House runs, and they send messages from the national legislature to our friends in foreign countries and to important communities in the United States.
The signal Congress sent yesterday, and which we join today, is to wish the best to Representative Giffords and all the victims of this tragedy. We’ll hope to see her back in Washington, D.C., before too long, voting on all the bills that reach the House floor, substantive and symbolic.
The current vote on H. Res. 32 is below. Click to vote, comment, learn more, or edit the wiki article on the bill.