Democrats stage gun control ‘sit-in,’ but chaos breaks out when Republicans try to end it

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Clip via MSNBC.

The U.S. House of Representatives doesn’t have a filibuster rule. So Democratic lawmakers tried what they thought was the next best thing by staging a sit-in on the House floor.

They looked more like 1960s-era campus protesters than they did members of Congress as House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to bring the chamber to order with the introduction of a bill that was unrelated to gun control — the issue Democrats wanted addressed.

And pandemonium prevailed over decorum.

Democrats began gathering for their demonstration at around 11:25 a.m. Wednesday, and Republicans responded by calling the House into recess, The Hill reported.

But at about 10:00 p.m., Republicans called for a vote to override a presidential veto. As Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican attempted to gavel the chamber into order, Democrats chanted “No bill, no break!”

At issue was a proposal by Democrats to prevent individuals on a federal “no fly” list from purchasing firearms — a measure that would have given the executive branch sole discretion over such purchases without due process of law.

Ryan listed that along with other objections to CNN Wednesday.

“This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. That’s point number one. Point number two is this bill was already defeated in the United States Senate. Number three, we’re not going to take away a citizen’s due process rights. We’re not going to take away a citizen’s constitutional rights without due process.

 

Ryan could barely be heard as he tried to bring the House to order above the noise of Democrats chanting and singing the old civil rights song, “We shall overcome,” but with altered lyrics:

“We shall pass a bill someday!” they sang. “We shall save the kids someday.”

Democrats appeared ready to continue as long as they felt it took, with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas appearing with blanket in hand, and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri showing to with a pink pillow.

Before the votes even began, Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina announced, “We are ready to stand in the way.”

The sit-in eventually became more party-like, and even turned into a catered affair.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer indicated that some members will continue the sit-in.

“A number of our members will stay,” the Maryland Democrat told reporters off the House floor.

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