Lawmakers in the House of Representatives are displaying a symbolic show of unity and will hold meetings about security this week, with no votes on legislation expected in the wake of the Arizona shooting over the weekend which killed six people and critically injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ.
Hundreds of members of Congress gathered at the steps of the Capitol building on Monday to hold a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the shooting. Among those killed were federal judge John Roll and Gifford staffer Gabe Zimmerman.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA, said Monday that votes on legislation were postponed so that we respond to this tragedy appropriately and offer an ability for the institution, the Congress and members that serve there, as well for our constituents to heal after this tragic event. He said he reached the decision in consultation with House Speaker John Boehner R-OH, and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA.
The House will meet formally on Tuesday and will attempt on Wednesday to pass a resolution - subject to unanimous approval - expressing the sense of its members regarding the shooting. There are no scheduled sessions on Thursday and Friday.
The security briefing on Wednesday will include the Capitol Police, which protects all 435 House members when they are in Washington. The Senate's security service, the Sergeant at Arms, will also participate along with the FBI.
The postponement of legislative activity - first announced on the day of the shooting - included what was expected a vote expected to fall along partisan lines on a repeal of last year's healthcare reform law.