Republicans condemn threats over health care - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Republicans condemn threats over health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -Republicans are pleading with opponents of the Democratic health care overhaul to refrain from violence and threats. On the House floor this morning, GOP Congressman Mike Pence said passage of the bill that President Barack Obama signed into law earlier this week, is "no excuse for bigotry, threats or acts of vandalism."

Referring to a number of incidents, including threatening phone calls and bricks thrown the windows of Democratic offices, Joseph Pitts says "this is not the right way to respond." The Pennsylvania Republican is a leading anti-abortion lawmaker.

Barney Frank calls the threats and violence an attempt to "hijack the debate" over health care. The Massachusetts Democrat says he's glad Republican leaders are denouncing it, but adds "they were very late to do that."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says while such acts "have no place in a civil debate," she rejects suggestions that they "sprang from the comments" of Republican lawmakers. She also vowed not to let vandalism and hate-mongering distract the work of Congress.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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