Gabrielle Giffords Shooting Prompts Tight Security at Capitol


Earlier Monday morning, Capitol Police closed down the area by the Capitol South metro station, on the House side of the Capitol complex, because a suspicious package was found. But after an examination the police gave the "all clear" and said that "nothing hazardous" was found.

The Capitol Police have been closely involved in the investigation into the shooting in Tucson. On Saturday they advised members of Congress to "take reasonable and prudent precautions regarding their personal safety and security." Later that day in a message to Senate offices, they said, "There is no indication at this time that this event is part of a larger threat against the Congressional membership or has a nexus to terrorism, but the investigation is ongoing."

House Suspends Most Work for Week

For Cleaver, who was spat on while walking into the Capitol complex during a Tea Party protest during the health care debate last year, the shooting in Tuscon was another indication of the heated political rhetoric that has escalated in recent years.

"We are in a dark place right now in this country politically," Cleaver said. "We can no longer disagree and simply try to resolve our disagreements and come up with a policy that both sides can in some ways embrace. We've come to a point now where if we disagree we are enemies, and we spend a great amount of time planning ways to dismember each other politically and it all begins with campaigns. I think people overlook the fact that the campaigns are becoming nastier and nastier, and more and more personal, and when that happens, after the election, people are still bruised."

Sunday Speaker of the House John Boehner announced that the House will not move forward this week in its efforts to repeal the health care reform law, but instead will act legislatively to "take necessary action regarding [Saturday's] events."

There are no votes expected in the House this week, but the House will convene Wednesday to pass a resolution honoring Giffords and the other victims of the shooting.

Also on Wednesday, there will be a bipartisan security briefing on Capitol Hill by the Capitol Police, the Sergeant at Arms and the FBI.

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