The HillTube

Rep. Rooney: Obama's speech could help push for Ft. Hood victims

ADVERTISEMENT
The Pentagon has said that they have taken care of the victims of the attack, and awarding a Purple Heart could alter the meaning of the award. They've also said that classifying the attack differently could complicate Hasan's trial, set to begin at the end of the month.

But Rooney, along with Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), have lobbied the Pentagon to reclassify the incident as combat-related.

Rooney said their cause was aided by Obama's remarks Thursday, in which the president said that the "pull towards extremism appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon."

The Florida lawmaker said that the president's move to liken the two attacks would only serve efforts to reclassify the shooting. He also reported that the Department of Defense told him recently that they may reconsider their stance if "during the trial, if those elements do come out, that [Hasan] was radicalized and this was jihad." 

"There is a small silver lining that says at this time, if new evidence comes out they will reconsider," Rooney said.

The Florida lawmaker said that at present, the country was failing the victims of the attack.

"This effort is not something we can just sweep under the rug and hope goes away … I served at Ft. Hood, I know the kind of Americans they are, and we're not serving them at this point."