Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Lockdown Lifted On U.S. Capitol After "Isolated Incident"

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TWC News: Lockdown Lifted On U.S. Capitol After "Isolated Incident"
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Members of the New York delegation are back at work inside the U.S. Capitol after being put on lockdown Thursday following an "isolated incident" involving a car chase and gunfire outside the building.

Capitol police say it began Thursday afternoon when a woman driving a black sedan allegedly tried to pass through a barricade in front of the White House.

A chase involving the Secret Service then ensued towards the Capitol, where officers again tried to stop the vehicle.

At one point, authorities say, she drove into a Capitol police cruiser before continuing to lead them on a multi-agency pursuit around the building.

She was eventually apprehended.

Police say the woman involved died from gunshot wounds.

Published reports identified her as Miriam Carey.

NY1 has since learned that she grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and still has family in that neighborhood.

Carey's most recent home is in Stamford, Conn.

A full statement from the family is expected sometime Friday.

A young child was also inside the woman's car and is in protective custody, according to police.

It's not clear how many shots were fired or by whom, but officials say they were not aimed at the Capitol.

A Capitol police officer and an officer with the Secret Service were hurt in the pursuit.

"The pursuit went several blocks [and] involved both United States Secret Service and United States Capitol Police," said Chief Cathy Lanier of the Metropolitan Police. "Right now, the suspect in the vehicle, we do know, was struck by gunfire and at this point has been pronounced. The suspect has been pronounced at this point. The child is approximately a year old and is in good condition and in protective custody."

As events were unfolding, public address systems inside the building instructed all workers to "remain sheltered."

The incident came as the government shutdown entered its third day with no immediate end in sight.

After the lockdown, lawmakers voted on short-term bills to ease the shutdown.

The Republican-controlled House pushed a pair of bills. One restores money to veterans' programs, and the other pays National Guard and Reserve members.

Earlier in the day, President Barack Obama called for an up-or-down vote in Congress on a funding bill already passed by the Senate that would open the government again.

He said the GOP needs to stop focusing on health care and recognize that a government shutdown could soon lead to an economic shutdown.

"You don't get to demand some ransom in exchange for keeping the government running. You don't get to demand ransom in exchange for keeping the economy running. You don't get to demand ransom for doing your most basic job," Obama said.

That sentiment was shared by Democrats, while Republicans appear to be waiting for a concession on health care and/or tax reform.

"We should not give in to the ransom demands put forth by extremist elements of the Republican Party, and largely led by Tea Party extremists," said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, whose district represents parts of Queens and Brooklyn.

"It's not time to look in the rearview mirror," said Rep. Chris Collins of Geneseo, N.Y. "As I said, the mini-grand bargain is where we need to go, linking continued CR to a debt ceiling increase into entitlement reform, some level of health care reform."

There was a moment of bipartisan unity Thursday, when the House floor gave Capitol police a standing ovation for their handling of the incident.

Obama also announced late Thursday night that he is canceling his visit to Asia next week due to the shutdown.

Treasury officials warned lawmakers to get their act together or risk hurting the fragile economy.

The country could risk defaulting on its debt by October 17 if the debt ceiling is not raised.

Meanwhile, some New York representatives are choosing to part with their paychecks for the duration of the government shutdown.

Rep. Chris Collins has introduced a bill that would suspend pay for all members of Congress during the shutdown.

In a statement, he said, "If the federal government is shutdown Members of Congress should not get paid."

Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is taking similar action, saying in a statement, "Until Congress ends this irresponsible shutdown, I won't accept a penny - Members of Congress shouldn't get a better deal than the families at West Point and Stewart Air National Guard." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP