Democratic Congresswoman Tries To Kick Giffords Off Armed Services Committee

Considering that it’s only been three weeks since Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, I would think this falls under the category of too soon:

Behind closed doors, California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez has proposed removing Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) until she recovers from injuries sustained after being shot in the head on Jan. 8 in Tucson, The Daily Caller has learned.

The proposal sparked an outrage, according to those in the room — including from those in Sanchez’s own party.

“It’s not appropriate,” Texas Democratic Rep. Silvestre Reyes told The Daily Caller, adding that there was outrage among some members in the room when Sanchez made the suggestion. “It’s bad for morale during her recovery period.”

Reyes and Rep. Adam Smith of Washington put up most of the fight against Sanchez, and helped squash the idea.

“From a woman who memorialized her cat, you’d think she’d show a little more compassion for a woman shot in the face,” said one GOP aide, referring to Sanchez’s 2010 Christmas card that paid tribute to her late cat, Gretzky.

Ouch that hurts.

At the same time, though, it is true that Giffords’ recovery does raise some issues that both she, her family, and her party are going to have to deal with at some point in the future when it becomes clearer just how long her recovery is going to take. If Giffords were a member of the House majority, or a Committee Chair, this would have to be dealt with now. She isn’t, so it was really sort of classless for Sanchez to bring it up now.  Of course, this also brings up an issue I raised a week ago that may deserve attention at some point:

The Constitution says nothing about how to deal with a Congressman or Senator who may be disabled and unable to fulfill for the duties of their office. This means that a Senator could have a stroke, be disabled for years and unable to work, and the people of their state would be without representation. I’m not suggesting this is a crucial problem, but it is interesting that we have specific provisions for Presidential disability, but nothing to deal with a similar situation in the Legislative and Judicial Branches.

It may be time to consider addressing that issue.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Well well well says:

    Gifford is from Arizona. Not some state that elects qualified people. Arizona. I hope they never replace her and she never goes into the house again. Yeah, I feel a little sorry she got shot, but she sure as hell was no saint and I don’t regret the loss of her Blue Dog vote one tiny bit.

  2. Axel Edgren says:

    Hey Doug, when are you going to return to that “NY snowplowers’ unions are basically selfish thugs” story and admit you were being wrong?

    The story rocketed around New York City when streets went uncleared after the Dec. 26 blizzard: Sanitation workers, angry about job reductions, had deliberately staged a work slowdown.
    It resulted in wisecracks on “Saturday Night Live,” fiery denunciations of unions on cable news and four criminal investigations.

    And it occurred because one man, Councilman Daniel J. Halloran, Republican of Queens, said five city workers had come to his office during the storm and told him they had been explicitly ordered to take part in a slowdown to embarrass Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

    But the more that investigators look into Mr. Halloran’s story, the more mystifying it becomes.

    Mr. Halloran said he had been visited by two supervisors in the Transportation Department and three workers in the Sanitation Department. But the two transportation supervisors did not back up his story in interviews with investigators, according to two people briefed on the inquiries. And Mr. Halloran has steadfastly refused to reveal the names of the sanitation workers.

    Mr. Halloran expects to testify this week before a federal grand jury looking into the question of a slowdown, according to a person familiar with his intentions, and it is not clear whether prosecutors will try to compel him, under oath, to divulge the workers’ names.

    Meanwhile, investigators had hoped that extensive publicity would bring out others with knowledge of the purported plot. That has not happened, according to the people briefed on the investigations, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigations are continuing. This leaves prosecutors with no proof that anything occurred.

    “When you’re talking about establishing a negative, I don’t know how it’s going to get firmer,” one person briefed on the inquiries said.

    Mr. Halloran declined to be interviewed for this article.

    Of course, someone could still bring forward evidence. Investigators are examining videos of trucks driving with their plows up, although officials say the drivers must sometimes put the plows up to stay on their routes.

    Yet in the days since Mr. Halloran first made his explosive accusations, he has revised his account.

  3. Unlike some people I’m waiting for the investigation too conclude. BTW, your comment is off-topic

  4. mantis says:

    Unlike some people I’m waiting for the investigation too conclude.

    You showed no such restraint earlier. But then you could use it to bash unions, so you know….

  5. Axel Edgren says:

    “BTW, your comment is off-topic”

    As if I am going to bother to write an email. Be less excitable in the future. Also, too, I didn’t trust you to keep an eye on the investigation unless it vindicated your earlier spin.

  6. Franklin says:

    Back on topic, we don’t know how Sanchez proposed this. But the proposal was meant to be temporary, according to the above: “… until she recovers from injuries …” Would it wrong to have a temporary replacement? Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me.

    Also, is it wrong to love your cat?