California Congressional members react to bin Laden’s death

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (right), flanked by LA Democrat Xavier Becerra(left), Congressman James Clyburn (center), and Van Nuys Democrat Howard Berman (back center).
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (right), flanked by LA Democrat Xavier Becerra(left), Congressman James Clyburn (center), and Van Nuys Democrat Howard Berman (back center). Kitty Felde/KPCC

California members of Congress resurfaced in Washington, D.C. on Monday after a two-week district work session. Even before their flights had landed, they had issued statements about the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Los Angeles Democrat Xavier Becerra, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, gave America “the right and the duty to pursue all those responsible.”

“Justice for the victims,” he said, “demanded no less.”

Santa Clarita Republican Buck McKeon, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said bin Laden’s death proves to terrorists that “we will get them eventually.”

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield congratulated everyone – past and present – who’d made the operation a success.

“The work that President Bush did. And the work that President Obama did. He had a decision he had to make. And we thank him for the decision he made,” said McCarthy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Obama built on the work of Bush and Clinton.

"I hope it is some comfort to families of 9/11 that this has taken place. It’s an historic event," said Pelosi. "We can never make them whole. We have more work to do. He’s one person. Terrorism is still out there. We have a commitment to honor our oath of office to protect and defend."

Lawmakers from both major parties, even those who oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, praised the armed forces.

LA Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters warned that bin Laden’s death should not “diminish our efforts to focus on real security threats to our nation” or from bringing “our men and women home from war in a timely manner.”

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