The US House of Representatives’ Democrats have taken the floor, quite literally — since Wednesday just before noon, they've been staging a sit-in on the House floor in an attempt to get the chamber’s Republicans to hold a vote on gun control legislation.
"The time for silence and patience is long gone," Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat who is leading the sit-in, said Wednesday morning. "The American people are demanding action. Do we have the courage, do we have the raw courage to make at least a down payment on ending gun violence in America?"
TAMMY. DUCKWORTH. IS. OUT. OF. HER. WHEELCHAIR. SITTING. ON. THE. FLOOR. OF. THE. HOUSE.— Dub Pool (@dubpool) June 22, 2016
Last week Senate Democrats forced a vote on four gun control bills after a 15-hour filibuster; all four bills failed to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for cloture. You can read more about the bills here.
The House Democrats’ protest was briefly live streaming on HouseLive.gov. But the cameras, controlled by Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, were turned off when the House went into recess due to the protest. (Cameras are traditionally turned off during recess, but this recess was deliberately called because of this protest.)
The House went into a recess until July 5 on Wednesday night after a late-night vote on a bill related to the Zika virus. But the sit-in is continuing. In more than 20 hours of protest, the House Democrats have been joined by Senators on the floor and activists outside the Capitol building.
Here are some of their posts:
Rep. John Lewis, Georgia
Sometimes you have to get in the way. You have to make some noise by speaking up and speaking out against injustice & inaction #goodtrouble— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 22, 2016
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, District of Columbia
Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Connecticut
No more silence. This House needs to act. Anything short of a vote is heartless and cowardly. pic.twitter.com/kjM8ae3a52— Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) June 22, 2016
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, California
Rep. Mark Pocan, Wisconsin
Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut
US Sen. Chris Murphy, the Democrat from Connecticut who led the 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor last week to bring the bills to a vote, made an early guest appearance joining the sit-in in solidarity.
Rep. Keith Ellison, Minnesota
Then there is Minnesotan Rep. Keith Ellison, who was in a meeting with Trita Parsi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, when he received a note from his staffer:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts
It was Sen. Elizabeth Warren's birthday yesterday and she brought donuts for the class during recess.
Protesters gathered outside the Capitol