Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) plans to introduce a resolution establishing a National Congress on Your Corner Day in honor of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot earlier this month at a meet-and-greet event in Tucson, Ariz.
Speier sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to Members on Monday saying she wants to observe the holiday on the first Saturday of January after Congress convenes. The Arizona Democrat, who Speier said “exemplifies our representative form of government and our democratic ideals,” and more than a dozen other people were shot at a Congress on Your Corner event on Jan. 8, the first Saturday after the 112th Congress convened.
“The gunman in Tucson took aim not just at Gabby but at our democracy as well. Most of us have not let this tragedy reduce our contact with our constituents. We won’t advance effective representation by erecting more walls around us,” Speier wrote. “This resolution will help us embody that determination in a way that conveys to our constituents, to the nation and to the world that our democracy is strong and vibrant and is truly a government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
The Arizona shooting was particularly personal for Speier. She was shot in the 1978 attack that killed Rep. Leo Ryan (D-Calif.), her boss at the time. The deadline to sign on as a co-sponsor is noon today.
The House Sergeant-at-Arms Office of Emergency Management is offering staffers a demonstration on how to use a high-tech gas mask called the SCape CBRN30.
The mask is made by ILC Dover, the designer of NASA’s space suits, and is used as an escape respirator for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attacks.
The first demonstration will be next Wednesday, and a few more will follow throughout the month. The classes will include refresher courses on the House’s emergency procedures.
The Emergency Management Office, along with the Office of the Attending Physician, is also holding CPR and basic first aid training Thursday and throughout February. House staffers can take the four-hour course and get CPR and first aid certification that remains valid for two years.
The Office of the House Sergeant-at-Arms did not return a request for comment about whether these classes are standard practice or being held in light of a recent increased focus on Member and staff security.