Congress returns to work, shaken, somber and vowing to improve civil discourse. And then Trump tweeted – Los Angeles Times
Lawmakers were already uneasy with the partisan divide, fueled by deepening investigations into whether the Trump’s campaign was involved with Russian interference in the 2016 election. They are now surveying the post-shooting landscape with heavy hearts, wondering how safe they will be doing their jobs in the country’s polarized environment. Death threats are being reported. Many want more protection.
The House majority whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), remained in critical condition and required more surgeries, officials said, after being shot in the hip early Wednesday when the gunman opened fire at the ball field in suburban Alexandria, Va., outside Washington, where lawmakers practiced for the game.
Also shot were a U.S. Capitol Police officer, a congressional aide and a lobbyist. Another police officer and a congressman were treated for injuries. The gunman fired \at least 50 rounds, officials said, and lawmakers reported feeling like “sitting ducks” on the field.
One area of agreement that emerged among lawmakers was the shooting would have been even worse — with more injuries among the two dozen or so gathered — if not for Scalise’s security detail, which is provided to him because he is part of congressional leadership.
Knowing that not every lawmaker can have such police security, several said they are trying for the next best protection: lowering the political rhetoric.
Shaken lawmakers said they must do better at negotiating their policy differences, turning down the heat that has been on full blaze since last year’s campaigns.
Some choked up with tears as they pledged to do better.
Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the Republican baseball team manager, and Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, representing the Democrats, said they would start with one small step — having dinner together.