Vermont's Congressional Delegation Responds To Virginia Shooting

Jun 14, 2017

Members of Vermont's congressional delegation reacted with shock and horror to learn that a gunman targeted members of the Republican congressional baseball team on Wednesday.

More from NPR: Gunman Dies After Shooting At GOP Baseball Practice In Virginia

Emergency security measures were immediately put into place around the Capitol building after the shooting.

Rep. Peter Welch says he hopes these measures will be temporary and not permanent.

"The danger of overreacting is as great, maybe more so, of underreacting," said Welch. "You can't do this job if you're apprehensive, looking over your shoulder all the time."

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was one of a group of people who were shot at the baseball field practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Early Wednesday afternoon, MedStar Washington Hospital Center stated on Twitter that Scalise "remains in critical condition."

Welch says Scalise played a key role in helping Vermont secure emergency federal funds after Tropical Storm Irene in the summer of 2011.

"I was in a jam here in the House because I'm a delegation of one, and I needed some Republicans to help us," said Welch. "And Steve Scalise was one of the first to reach to me and say 'Peter, whatever I can do to help I will.'"

Sen. Bernie Sanders went to the Senate floor after he learned that the alleged shooter was a volunteer worker on his presidential campaign.

"I am sickened by this despicable act and let me be as clear as I can be," said Sanders. "Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."

Sen. Patrick Leahy also issued a statement on Twitter in response to the shooting.