WASHINGTON – The sit in that the Democrats staged on the floor of the house of representatives is now over. But for 24 hours, they took over the house and prevented the chamber from going out of session. And when speaker Paul Ryan shut off the C-SPAN cameras, they continued broadcasting online.
At one point late last night, Republicans began shouting at them, claiming that radical Islam was really what was behind the Orlando shootings. And two members of Congress almost came to blows. It was starting to look more like the parliament of Taiwan then the United States Congress.
Regardless of whether or not you think the Democrats are taking the right approach with their protest, what they’re talking about is very important. The Republicans are in the pocket of the National Rifle Association and refused to even bring tighter gun-control regulations to a vote. Republicans are in solid control of the House of Representatives.
Even if they did vote, the legislation would be defeated. Are they so afraid of the NRA that they can’t even vote, the basic function of any legislative body? The Republicans are cowards and should at least give a thumbs up or thumbs down to a piece of legislation that clearly the American people are in favor of.
To my point we have this parting shot -Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday cut the legs out from a bipartisan effort to keep suspected terrorists from buying guns.
In doing so, McConnell, a master of the Senate’s arcane rules, provided cover for vulnerable Republicans who wanted to be seen as supporting the effort, but did not want to cross the National Rifle Association.
McConnell also set up a vote on an alternative bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that was not opposed by the NRA.
The last-minute measure had no chance of passing the Senate, but gave political cover for Johnson and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who are all in challenging reelection races this fall.