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Katko offers prayers for Scalise, laments return of political vitriol in Washington

Rep. Katko said last week's shooting should signal a need to change the tone between both sides of the political spectrum, but was pessimistic about whether or not that will actually happen.

Central New York Congressional Representative John Katko says Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise still has a long road to recovery, but says the GOP whip's health has improved in the days after a shooting at a GOP baseball practice.

“I think he’s going in the right direction, but he’s got a long way to go," Katko said while speaking at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. "He’s gonna have an awful lot of surgeries going forward. So, I just people hope and pray that he gets better.”

Katko was at Crouse to talk about combating the synthetic drug epidemic in CNY, but also briefly discussed how threats against representatives to Congress are handled. “We have a very set process if we receive threats," said Katko. "You deal with Capitol Hill Police and Sergeant At Arms and with local law enforcement as well, and we act accordingly.”

Rep. Katko said last week's shooting should signal a need to change the tone between both sides of the political spectrum, but was pessimistic about whether or not that will actually happen. “I watch the news this morning and it seems like things are quickly getting back to normal, which is unfortunate, but I hope that’s not the case. I think we really do need to tone down the rhetoric and vitriol quite a bit.”

Rep. Katko noted that he has found himself in the middle of uncomfortable situations, specifically referencing an incident that happened in DeWitt in early May. "A couple of weeks ago I was at a dog shelter and I walked outside and someone grabbed my car door and pulled it open and wouldn’t let me shut my door when I'm sitting in the seat," Katko recalled. "He’s screaming at me and shaking his fist at me. That kind of stuff has got to stop and hope it does moving forward. We'll see.”

The Congressman was mum on what, if anything, has been done to increase security in the wake of last week's shooting. “The bottom line is we’re going to do everything we can to keep our staff safe and keep things under control," Katko said. "We have had to act on security issues routinely and I'm sure we'll have to going forward."

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