Politics

New tone: Sen. Rockefeller corrects Sen. Schumer’s word choice mid-press conference

Chris Moody Contributor
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Give them credit: Members of Congress are really working hard this year to change their tone with each other.

During a press conference addressing a bill to update the Federal Aviation Association Tuesday, West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller corrected New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer when he used the word “shot” to describe how the Senate plans to provide members from both parties an opportunity to offer amendments to the measure.

“If you have an amendment, bring it up and get the votes for it. But don’t hold up the whole bill. And that’s what we’re trying to do. Hopefully it’ll produce a good result,” Schumer said. “I don’t think anyone can predict which slot amendments, if any, will pass, but everyone will get their shot…”

“Their chance,” Rockefeller, who was standing next to Schumer, said quickly.

“Their chance,” Schumer said, correcting himself.

Since the Jan. 8th shooting in Tucson, Arizona that left six dead and 13 injured, including Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, members from both parities and chambers have noticeably altered their language, being careful not to use phrases that allude to the use of weapons or death. Republicans who were fond of saying that the new health care law was a “job killer,” for instance, now take pains to label it as “job crushing” or “job destroying” instead.

Rockefeller later shrugged off the suggestion that his interruption had anything to do with efforts among members to shy away from gun-related talk.

“Chuck Schumer and I are habitual teasers of each other,” Rockefeller told The Daily Caller.

When asked directly if it was part of an effort to use a “new tone,” he said: “No. No, no, no. Any chance at Chuck, you take it.”

Well, it was worth a shot.

Anthony C. Maki contributed to this report

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Chris Moody