News / USA

US Lawmakers Report Increased Threats Linked to Health Care Vote

Multimedia

Audio
Cindy Saine

Several Congressional Democrats say they are worried for their safety because of threats linked to the passage of controversial health care reform legislation this week.  House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Wednesday that officials from the FBI and Capitol Police have briefed lawmakers on how to handle security threats.

Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer said that he and Republican congressional leaders have discussed implementing new security precautions for lawmakers after an increase in threats following Sunday's health care reform vote and accompanying anti-reform protests outside the Capitol over the weekend.

Hoyer said there have been at least four acts of vandalism against Democratic House members that are linked to their votes on health care.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating cut fuel lines at the Virginia home of Democratic Representative Tom Perriello's brother, whose address was posted online by a right-wing blogger who said it was the lawmaker's address.

Hoyer also said that at least 10 House members have received threats to themselves or their families and that the Capitol Police have been alerted.

"Any member [of Congress] who feels themselves at risk is getting attention from the proper authority," Hoyer said.

Tempers flared on Saturday and Sunday - both inside and outside of the Capitol - as lawmakers prepared to vote on the contentious health care reform legislation.  Hundreds of protesters gathered to voice their opposition to the health care bill.  Many were members of the Tea Party movement, which is made up of loosely organized groups of grass roots conservative, Libertarian and anti-tax activists who oppose the Democrats' health care plan, saying that it imposes too much government involvement in the economy and people's lives.

On Saturday, Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri was spat on by an angry protester as he approached the Capitol.  And openly gay Democratic Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts was the target of a homophobic slur.

Democratic Majority Whip James Clyburn says the jeering and anger from protesters reminded him of the abuse he was subjected to as an African-American civil rights protester in the 1960s.

"What I saw on Saturday especially, out in the streets, and what I heard was very reminiscent of that history," Clyburn said.

Clyburn urged Republican leaders to join Democrats in publicly condemning anyone who encourages threats, vandalism and violence, saying that "silence is consent."

Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio told Fox News that violence and threats are "unacceptable" and called on opponents of the new health care law to speak with their votes, and to get involved in politics.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid