WASHINGTON -- Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) had no business invoking the Aurora, Colo., shootings to advance a completely unrelated partisan bill, her Democratic challenger declared on Thursday.
"Using a painful national tragedy to push for excessively partisan legislation, as was attempted today by my opponent, exemplifies the reason that Americans are so fed up with members of Congress," Elisabeth Motsinger said in a statement. "We should pray for those who are suffering and use this as an opportunity to unify as compassionate Americans."
During a Thursday House debate on a GOP regulatory bill, Foxx made a tearful plea to Democrats to agree to fix a typo in the bill on the spot, instead of following the regular procedure of sending the bill back to committee. Life is too precious to waste, she said, and the House should hurry up and pass the bill. Foxx's comments came shortly after the House passed a resolution honoring the victims of the Colorado shooting.
"I think in the spirit of comity, in the spirit that was established on this floor this morning, we should move on, get to the work that the American people sent us here for, and understand, as was quoted this morning by one of our colleagues, our time is very precious. Don't waste it by playing gotcha games. Think about what we discussed earlier," Foxx said.
Motsinger said she agrees with Foxx that there should be respectful dialogue on the House floor, particularly in light of the recent tragedy in Aurora. But Motsinger called it "distasteful" to try to rush through a GOP bill with "drastic flaws." The bill, which would impose a moratorium on "significant" regulatory action, passed on a largely partisan vote.
"After spending the last two years arguing against the healthcare bill because so many members had not read the legislation, it is puzzling why Ms. Foxx would attempt to rush through a bill that, in a similar fashion, has not been read. This kind of partisan rush underscores what is so frustrating to those of us here at home," said Motsinger.
A Foxx spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
Motsinger has a tough race ahead of her. Foxx trounced her 2010 Democratic challenger, Billy Kennedy, by winning 66 percent of the vote.