House Speaker John Boehner: ‘We will have the last word’

Chris Moody Contributor
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U.S. House members returned to the floor Wednesday, striking a noticeably somber tone in their first meeting since the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. that claimed the lives of six and severely injured their colleague, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Instead of launching barbs back and forth over whether to repeal the 2010 health-care law as was scheduled before Saturday, the House is likely to unite to pass a resolution to condemn Saturday’s attacks and honor those who were killed and wounded.

“We are called here to mourn,” House Speaker John Boehner began, calling Giffords, a Democrat, a “public servant of the highest caliber” and “one of our own.”

“Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is not,” he said. “This is the time for the House to lock arms in prayer for the fallen and the wounded in a resolve to carry on a dialogue of democracy.”

“We will have the last word,” Boehner said before concluding, pulling out a handkerchief to dab his eyes while he made his way toward the back of the chamber to sit alone.

The House floor will be open for six hours for members to speak about the shooting. Members will meet for a bipartisan prayer service and vote on the resolution Wednesday afternoon.

While many of the floor speeches throughout the day are focusing on “toning down the rhetoric” a CBS News poll this week found that nearly 60 percent of Americans said they saw no connection between heated political discussions and the shooting.

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