BOSTON (AP) -- A congressional panel has canceled plans to meet with Boston marathon bombing victims and local emergency responders in Massachusetts. Boston's newly elected mayor raised concerns that the hearing might politicize the attack that killed three and seriously wounded dozens more almost one year ago, congressional officials said.
A field hearing scheduled for Boston this spring will be held instead in Washington, D.C., a spokeswoman for the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee confirmed Thursday.
Later Thursday, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh responded clarified that his concerns "had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with public safety and preparation" for others events scheduled around the anniversary of the attack.
Homeland Security Committee members, including Massachusetts Rep. William Keating, a Democrat, traveled to Russia as part of a yearlong investigation into the events leading up to the attack. Authorities say the suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and his older brother, ethnic Chechens from Russia who emigrated to the United States as children, planned and carried out the attack to retaliate against the U.S. for its involvement in Muslim countries. Tsarnaev's brother was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing.
The committee's next meeting will highlight recommendations from a final report, set for release before the anniversary of the bombing.
Keating's office pushed for a Boston hearing in part to give victims and emergency responders an opportunity to be heard. Such hearings are common following attacks in other cities.
First responders will be invited to participate in the Washington hearing, Sellmyer said, although it's unclear whether any will attend.