Members of Congress from the central San Joaquin Valley said Wednesday that the shooting of their colleague Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, has given the House of Representatives an opportunity to focus on what unites them instead of what divides them, at least temporarily.
“Despite our differences, we are united through mutual respect and shared dedication to serving our country,” said Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, in a statement.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, echoed the sentiment in his statement: “Regardless of our differences and disagreements, we are one House. And, as a country, we are one nation.”
Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, quoted the Speaker of the House: “I join Speaker Paul Ryan in echoing his sentiment that ‘an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.’ We must stand in solidarity and not allow the actions of one cowardly individual to define who we are as a nation.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, did not issue a statement.
In the aftermath of the shooting, the lawmakers commented on the perils of heated political rhetoric.
“There is no doubt politics can be heated, at times, even dirty, but it should absolutely never be violent,” Valadao said. “Today’s senseless act wasn’t an attack against Republicans or Democrats, this was an attack against our democracy. … We must never let our political beliefs supersede our respect for one another.”
There is too much hateful and divisive comments that take place in our public debate these days.
Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno
He added, “As we continue to pray for the swift recovery of Congressman Steve Scalise and the four individuals injured this morning, let us put aside our political differences and come together, as Americans.”