Historic House Sit-In Continues Day 2
Washington – It’s been over 24 hours since Democrats first filled the U.S. House floor in protest, demanding a vote on gun control – and the party isn’t backing down.
Democrats refused to give in early Thursday, even after Republican leaders sought to thwart the party’s efforts by voting on several bills – not including gun control – at 2:30 a.m. and sending lawmakers home until July 5.
“This is nothing more than a publicity stunt,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told CNN of the protest. “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention.”
The protest, led by civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, began at around noon on Wednesday with Democrats attempting to delay next month’s recess until members of both parties vote on gun control.
The sit in the House is unprecedented because unlike the Senate members of Congress do not have the ability to take over the floor via filibuster. So, the Democrat’s decided their best way get gun legislation to a vote acted on via vote in the House.
The early recess will deny Democrats a chance of votes on gun control legislation, Politico reports. But protesters vowed to keep fighting.
It is unclear how the protest will continue amid the break, but shortly after Republicans adjourned, Lewis called the effort a “major down payment on ending gun violence in America.”
Democrats chanted “No bill, no break!” as the protest got underway, and supporters and celebrities alike joined the effort via social media, making the #NoBillNoBreak hashtag one of Twitter’s trending toics.
Republican leaders turned off C-Span cameras as protesters chanted and gave speeches. So, Democrats took matters into their own hands, breaking House rules to stream the protest on Periscope and Facebook Live.
The question on when the sit-in will stop remains unclear but the Democrats involved have said in July when they return from recess that they will restart the sit-in.