Congress Isn't Ready for Massive Terrorist Hit: Critics

What would happen if majority of members killed, incapacitated?
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2011 12:28 PM CDT
Congress Isn't Ready for Massive Terrorist Hit: Critics
As a rain moves in, the Capitol building is reflected in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The Washington Post points to an important question that failed to get asked after the FBI arrested Rezwan Ferdaus for allegedly planning an attack on the US Capitol: Is Congress prepared for a catastrophic terrorist strike? If more than half of the members of the House or the Senate were incapacitated or killed, no laws could be passed. How quickly could the chambers mobilize in such an event?

That question was at the forefront of our minds after the September 11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax scare that followed, but the issue has not been looked at seriously for several years. While senators can be appointed, House members must be elected. And though a 2005 law allows for expedited special elections in an emergency situation that leaves 100 or more House seats vacant, critics say such elections are not realistic and would still not get the House operating quickly enough. Click for more. (Read more Congress stories.)

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