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Boehner, House Honor Tucson Victims As Agenda Stays On Hold

It's been often noted that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) cries easily. But few would begrudge him his tears Wednesday.

The House honored those who were killed and wounded in Saturday's mass shooting in Tucson, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who was shot as she greeted her constituents in a Congress on Your Corner event at a shopping center.

Speaking on behalf of a resolution for the victims and their families, Boehner fought back tears as he said:

“Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is not.  This is a time for the House to lock arms, in prayer for those fallen and wounded, and in resolve to carry on the dialogue of democracy.  We may not yet have all the answers, but we already have the answer that matters most: that we are Americans, and together we will make it through this.  We will have the last word.

That House members found themselves making speeches on a subject they all agreed with was just another reminder of the vagaries of life, of how circumstances often overtake the best-laid plans even of the most powerful.

Last week, House Republicans had expected to be celebrating a successful health care repeal vote on Wednesday, a key priority of the congressional Republican agenda.

Instead, lawmakers continued to try to make sense of the senseless and signed books of condolence and sympathy for the victims of Saturday's shootings and their families.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.