Connect to Congress: 'We need to make sure we get this right'

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., sits down for an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (Sinclair Broadcast Group)

WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives arrived at a somewhat chaotic scene in Washington, D.C. Wednesday morning, after a woman rammed her vehicle into a U.S. Capitol Police cruiser. Police opened fire, but no one was injured and the driver was taken into custody.

Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., described his commute to Capitol Hill just after the incident.

"I was one block away from where the incident took place and trying to get to a hearing, a 9:30 (a.m.) hearing, and I couldn't quite believe the congestion, things weren't moving," Connolly told WJLA-TV. "So, I finally got out of my automobile and walked to the hearing."

Connolly went on to praise the work of the Capitol Police.

"We're very grateful nobody was hurt and that the police acted so swiftly to make sure that nobody was hurt," Connolly added.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., was not near this incident, but he has been near similar incidents in the past and he also praised the U.S. Capitol Police - both on Twitter and in an interview for KTUL-TV.

"I made it my point to always get to know their names, get to know their families," Mullin said. "Their ability to keep the public and the members safe at all times is remarkable."

Meanwhile, Capitol Hill is still dealing with the aftermath of the House GOP's failed bid to get its health care plan - the American Health Care Act (AHCA) - to the floor for a vote last week. The House Freedom Caucus got a bit of blame, led by Chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C. But Meadows believes that blame is misplaced.

"We've got to make sure we get it right for the American people, and specifically I've got to make sure that I get it right for my district," Meadows told WLOS-TV. "When I looked at the bill last week, too many of my constituents would have been adversely affected and so I said we need to take a pause."

Meadows also noted that the debate over health care reform is not over and that negotiations are ongoing.

Despite the health care outcome not working out the way both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would have liked last week, both indicated their willingness to move on to other big issues. One of those issues is tax reform, even though the system hasn't seen a major overhaul in decades.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., said in an interview for KRCG-TV that he believes there is an opportunity to get something like that done in this Congress with the Trump White House.

"These are big issues, they're complex issues. We knew there were going to be heavy lifts when we went into this. The president knew it was going to be a heavy lift. He's been engaged at a level I've never seen any other president in my lifetime," Luetkemeyer said.

Another complex issue the White House is currently grappling with is the continued investigations into alleged contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

Last week, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was caught up in that issue, as his committee is one of several investigating these contacts. Nunes admitted to receiving secret briefings from White House aides, causing some members to call for him to step down from his chairmanship.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., told KMPH-TV, a station that also frequently interviews Nunes, "I would not have handled it the way my colleague has done so and I think he acknowledged that he had made missteps and he apologized for them."

Nevertheless, Costa has joined other members in calling for an independent commission to take over the investigation.