Near-Empty House of Representatives Holds Moment of Silence For Train Crash Victims

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) requested a moment of silence be held yesterday to honor the victims of the Bronx train wreck, one of whom Maloney knew.  Moments of this nature are typically held between votes, when the Chamber is full.

But House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) deemed the incident a “regional” tragedy, and in an attempt to prevent the House work from being slowed down by anything other than “national” tragedies, and allowed the moment of silence to take place after votes had taken place, leaving the chamber empty with the exception of the New York delegation.

Aids explained that Boehner did not feel this tragedy rose to the level of national importance.

Via the Daily News:

The House of Representatives paused Tuesday for a moment of silence for victims of the deadly Metro-North derailment, but in a shift from other recent memorials, the moment came before an almost empty chamber.

The dead and injured New Yorkers were memorialized by members of the New York delegation after almost all their colleagues left the room.

Aides to New York members said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) deemed the event not a significant enough national tragedy for the moment of silence to occur between votes.

“When a tragedy like this happens, a senseless tragedy, we as Americans all pull together, wherever the tragedy occurred, said Rep. Eliot Engel, (D-Bronx) whose district includes the crash site.

Aides accused Republicans of having an anti-New York, anti-liberal attitude towards the city, and thus don’t care to mark a tragedy that occurred there.

The News lists several seemingly “regional” tragedies that were honored in the House, between votes in the past, including three firefighters lost in Houston and two police officers killed in California.

Whatever the reason, it is but a brief moment in between votes.  The word ‘moment’ itself is included in the phrase ‘moment of silence.’  Even if you’re under the impression that too many of these moments are creeping into the Chamber, is it really taking away from the amount of work being done by our representatives?


New York

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