“There is always that possibility .” Lee said after hearing. “One way or another this is an issue that has pre-dated the tragedy of this week and will still be here long after this week. The bottom line us I’m not sure.”
Asked if he would caution senators not to link the two, Lee said he generally doesn’t “take to lecturing my colleagues on how to message and what to message; that’s up to them.”
Meanwhile, the ongoing manhunt in Boston for one of the suspects forced Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to cancel her scheduled immigration testimony before the panel.
“As you know, there is a great deal going on in Massachusetts,” Leahy said. “I hope everybody can well understand why Secretary Napolitano will not be here. We will reschedule her testimony.”
Leahy said that the senators “are proud of how law enforcement is law enforcement has responded.”
Grassley also said her absence was understandable.
“On this side . . . we understand why the secretary can’t be here,” Grassley said. “ And we feel she is doing exactly what she should be doing and we will have an opportunity when things settle down to question her.”
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.