Van Hollen: House timeout is 'appropriate'

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) lauded Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) decision to put off votes in the House this week.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Van Hollen called Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head at a district meet-and-greet Saturday, "one of our brightest lights in the United States Congress."

"And this is a moment, I think, that we're going to take a timeout and reflect," Van Hollen said. "I think it's very fitting and appropriate that Speaker Boehner has decided to suspend activities in the House of Representatives in the coming week so that we can all take a little time to figure out how we move forward as a Congress and, I think, in the country at large."

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), on the same show, called Boehner's comments Sunday morning "appropriately short."

"It's what we do," Crowley said on the lawmakers' work. "We interact. We meet with our constituents on a daily basis, and that cannot be lost."

Van Hollen promised that Congress would still have a "spirited debate" on Republicans' plans to repeal the healthcare overhaul.

"There are strong feelings on both sides," he said. "But I hope that, in that process, people will reflect on the tone of the debate and be respectful of differences in opinion going forward. And that's going to be the key."