In the News

San Diego’s two Republican lawmakers were not at the GOP congressional baseball team practice Wednesday morning when a gunman opened fire on members and their staffs.

Spokesmen for both Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, and Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, said that they were not at the practice where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana, was shot, among others.

The suspected gunman, identified as James T. Hodgkinson III from Illinois, was killed after he was shot by Capitol Police at the northern Virginia ball field where Republicans and their staff were holding practice.

Members of Congress later were at an all-hands meeting with the sergeant-at-arms in the morning to discuss the incident and security.

Other House members offered similar sentiments in support of the victims as well as appreciation for the Capitol Police that responded to the shooting.

Well-wishes came from both sides of the political aisle.

Congressional Democrats had scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning to discuss a lawsuit against President Donald Trump, accusing the commander-in-chief of violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause by accepting gifts from foreign countries. After the shooting, however, they postponed the event.

Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, said he first heard about the shooting from Twitter as he was leaving his apartment near the Verizon Center arena.

“I assumed it was one of the baseball practices. I didn’t know at first if it was the Democratic or Republican practice. Them someone tweeted,” he said.

Details were hazy at first, but became more clear as he listened to the radio as he headed to his office. Peters said he soon learned that Scalise, his colleague on the Energy and Commerce Committee, had been shot.

As it would be expected, the shooting changed the way Congress feels, and what members talked about, he said.

Party leaders discussed the type of message lawmakers should project from Capitol Hill, and how their day-to-day rhetoric influences the way the country feels, Peters said.

“The conversation today was really about our tone in Congress, in Washington, and whether that’s affecting the larger American mood,” he said.

It may seem like members are unfriendly, but nearly everyone likes each other at a personal level and get along quite well, he said.

“There’s not personal animosity here because we’ve all been through the same experiences. But what I think we don’t do a good job of projecting that to the public,” Peters said. “We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

“At the end of the day, and on days like today, we remember that we’re all on the same team,” he said.

And Peters also changed his plans for Thursday evening. He wasn’t certain if he was going to go to the game, but now, it seems important to attend.

“I was waffling, the weather here is oppressive. But I think it’s the right thing to do now,” he said.

The practice was in preparation for a charity game between Democrats and Republicans at National Park in Washington, D.C. The game has been held regularly for more than a century.