Issa Calls for Fact-Based Oversight Hearing Examining Threats Against Members of Congress

March 25, 2010

WASHINGTON. D.C. – At today’s hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) delivered a letter to Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) requesting the Committee to “convene a hearing as soon as possible to evaluate the threats made to Members of Congress a result of their vote on last weekend’s healthcare bill.”

“I believe we must engage in a fact-based evaluation of these reports and examine them in the context of other threats whether foreign or domestic,” Issa wrote to Towns.  “I am deeply disturbed over the recent reports that Members of Congress are experiencing threats in response to their vote on the healthcare bill.  In the United States of America, we take tremendous national pride in our long-standing tradition of resolving disagreements at the ballot box, not through violence.”

Issa added, “Mr. Chairman, I am particularly sensitive to the threats that are being made.  You may recall that a few years ago an extremist group, the Jewish Defense League (JDL), attempted to bomb my office in California.  Congress took strong action to address voter intimidation during the march toward civil rights for all Americans and we must, likewise, not tolerate extremists who seek to intimidate Members of Congress through violence over any issue.  Emotions are running high in our country.  The sooner we have a public discussion based on the facts, the sooner we will be able to return to doing our job in the proper environment – that is an environment where thoughtful debate and careful consideration rule the day.”

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