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Report: Pelosi faced shooting threat during health care debate

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., waits to speak to supporters at an election night party in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Members of Congess reported a record-high number of threats to their safety in 2010, according to The Hill.

According to documents obtained by The Hill through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the FBI investigated 26 threats of violence against lawmakers (and occasionally, their family members) in 2010.

Almost half of the threats came in the contentious weeks before and after the health care reform bill was signed into law on March 23, 2010.

Among those targeted include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, former Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

During the heated debate over the health care reform, Pelosi reportedly received a call in which she was warned "I'm going to come down there and put a bullet in your a-- when you leave."

One offender warned former Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper that, because of her vote for the health care reform bill, he would come to her home and that "her offspring will pay."

And Democratic Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri received a call from someone who "threatened to put a bullet in Cleaver's head if he voted for healthcare reform," according to the Hill. (Cleaver did vote for the measure.)

Lawmakers are urged to report any threats to their safety to the FBI or Capitol Police, at which point an investigation is launched. Few of those cases end in prosecution, but in 2010, a number of offenders were sent to jail.

Norman Leboon, the man who threatened to kill House Majority Leader Eric Cantor during the health care debate last year, received a two-year prison sentence as a result of his YouTube threats against the congressman. And earlier this month, the man who threatened former Rep. John Boccieri (D-Ohio) received a four month sentence.

But in light of the January shootings that killed six people and injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, some worry that more vehement action should be taken.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a Chicago Democrat, told The Hill earlier this year that he and other lawmakers were concerned that the investigations into threats against them were insufficient.

"Our government, at the district level, is vulnerable, and something needs to be done about it," he said.