WASHINGTON BUREAU — A senior Republican is calling for a House committee to hold hearings on the threats of violence aimed at some Democrats who voted for the health bills.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., made the request in a letter to Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa is the highest ranking Republican on the committee.
“I believe we must engage in a fact-based evaluation of these reports and examine them in the context of other threats, whether foreign and domestic,” Issa writes in the letter.
Issa says he is “deeply disturbed” about the threats and acts of actual violence. Some members of Congress have reported finding bricks thrown through district office windows. Lawmakers also have received threats against themselves and their families, and anti-Semitic notes. The district office of Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., received a note signed with a swastika.
Members of the public who feel betrayed by the votes on the health bills “must register those feelings at the ballot box and not on the streets,” Issa writes.
But, taking his cue from the House Democratic leadership, Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., committee chairman, was noncommittal.
Towns has stated that the threats against members of Congress and Alan Frumin, the Senate parliamentarian, “raise real and unprecedented concern for our democracy, and potentially, our national security,” says Jenny Thalheimer Rosenberg, a House Oversight Committee spokesman.