Hoyer: Dem, GOP leaders worried about spike in lawmaker threats

House Democratic and Republican leaders have conferred to discuss a response to a "significant" number of threats against lawmakers.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that he, along with Democratic and Republican leaders, have discussed new security precautions that lawmakers should take after a spike in threats to lawmakers following a controversial healthcare vote this past weekend.

"Any member who feels themselves at risk is getting attention from the proper authority," Hoyer said during brief remarks on Wednesday.

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House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) Wednesday called disrespectful acts towards members of Congress "unacceptable" and urged health law opponents to speak with their votes instead.

“Violence and threats are unacceptable. That is not the American way," he said on Fox News. "Yes, I know there’s anger, but let’s take that anger and go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, and let’s do it the right way.”

House members' offices and families have faced threats over the healthcare bill since the House voted to approve it on Sunday. Rep. Tom Perriello's (D-Va.) brother had allegedly been victimized by a cut gas line, and Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) wife has reportedly received death threats.


Hoyer said that the threats had spiked "enough to raise concerns," and said that while he didn't have a number in mind, a "specific number" of threats had been leveled, which he said meant more than 10.

Tempers flared during the health debate over the weekend in which one lawmaker, Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), was spat at and other lawmakers were targeted by racial and homophobic slurs.

Hoyer said that Democratic and Republican leaders had "an agreement that the sentiments I've expressed are appropriate," adding: "We are continuing to discuss appropriate action."