Republicans and Democrats clashed over the war on terror within hours of the disclosure of a thwarted terrorist plot in Britain. Each side accused the other of doing too little to deter the threat of terror.
"We must implement the strong recommendations of the independent 9/11 commission to improve airport security screening at checkpoints," said Rep Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Party leader in the House of Representatives on Thursday.
Ohio Republicans said the Democratic candidate for the Senate, Rep Sherrod Brown, had voted against money "for the very types of programmes that helped the British thwart these vicious attacks."
"I don't question his patriotism, but the fact is if Sherrod Brown had his way, America would be less safe," said Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.
Brown, who is challenging Republican Sen Mike DeWine for one of Ohio's two Senate seats, mentioned the billions spent on the Iraq war and said the thwarted attacks "underscore the need to refocus our resources on fighting the war on terror."
The charges served as a reminder that with midterm elections less than three months away for all House members and one-third of the Senate, not even an alleged attack to blow up passenger planes was off-limits to politics.
Throughout the day, the accusations grew more heated with Republicans and Democrats criticising each other for using the day's events for political gain.
To be sure, both sides are seeking political advantage on national security.