Democrats Sit-In on House Floor Until Vote on Gun Control


As the number of Democrats on the floor grew, staffers brought in cases of bottled water, Coca-Cola and Diet Coke to the Democratic cloakroom. One Democratic member said the protest could stretch through the evening and possibly into Thursday.Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) led a prayer, as members clasped hands in a circle.

“How greatly we ache for those lives lost, those families destroyed, those communities that have been broken because of our refusal to speak up, stand up and support just laws that will ensure safety and security,” Clyburn said.

Just Tuesday, Clyburn unsuccessfully tried to force a vote on the same issue during a House vote. Republicans rejected his attempts.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) who led the 15-hour filibuster on the Senate last week, showed up to encourage Democrats. His filibuster had forced Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to hold a series of votes on gun measures, though none passed that chamber.

The Democrats cheered him, vowing to sit in the chamber until they forced a vote in their own chamber, too.

“I hope they stay in there for as long as it takes, though the day, through the night, until they get a vote,” Murphy said.

Republicans showed no signs of bowing to Democrats’ demand.

“The House cannot operate without members following the rules of the institution, so the House has recessed subject to the call of the chair,” AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said in a statement.

Some Democrats carried their protest outside, gathering on the Capitol steps to double down on their demands.

With the sun blazing, party leaders took turns speaking as rank-and-file Democrats and gun violence protesters stood side by side behind them, some wearing “We are Orlando” shirts and others holding up pictures of gun violence victims.

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