Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) has called for congressional Republicans and Democrats to hold an event specifically devoted to improving bipartisan relations following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
"We should have an event where we spend some time together where we can talk about how to better work together," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It's a moment for both parties in Congress to come together."
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed that lawmakers should heighten the political discourse and better police extreme comments. While it is not known whether the shooting was politically motivated, the debate over whether recent heightened political rhetoric played a role was played out on Sunday's talk shows.
"The real issue is we need to be able to have debate here in this country ... but ultimately we need to have some ground rules," said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).
"This ought to be a wake-up call to not only the members of Congress but the people in this country that we're headed in the wrong direction," said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the new chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "Congress meets a lot, but it's rare that it comes together."
However, freshman Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), who was voted into office with the help of Tea Party backing, warned that the shooting should not be used as a way to stifle certain political views.
"We can't use this moment to try and stifle one side or the other," he said. "It's just our job as leaders to show that we can talk about these issues and talk about them in a rational way."
An emotional Wasserman Schultz, who is close to Giffords, said earlier on the program that she was told Giffords woke up last night, responded to her husband Mark Kelly's voice, and was able to move her arms and legs before being sedated.
Giffords was shot in the head while hosting a public event in Tucson, Ariz. Twenty people were injured in the shooting and six have died, including a federal judge. Giffords is in critical condition, but her surgeons say they are optimistic about her chances for survival. A suspect, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody.