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
#WeWillNotYield the floor until we get a vote on common sense gun legislation Americans are demanding #NoBillNoBreak pic.twitter.com/wkmlnKrTz6— Eleanor H. Norton (@EleanorNorton) June 22, 2016
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
.@HouseGOP has gaveled a few times but we're still here. In fact, there are more of us. #NoBillNoBreak pic.twitter.com/tsWZtbgJrr— Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) June 22, 2016
Rep. Alan Lowenthal, California
Too many lives have been lost. We cannot have another moment of silence without action.#NoBillNoBreak #NoMoreSilence pic.twitter.com/aYmLWXaDxY— Rep. Alan Lowenthal (@RepLowenthal) June 22, 2016
Rep. Mark Pocan, Wisconsin
Joined my colleagues on the House Floor because we demand a moment of action. #NoBillNoBreak #EndGunViolence pic.twitter.com/ZD5he4WC8Q— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) June 22, 2016
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.
I'm in the House chamber showing solidarity w #NoBillNoBreak. Truly amazing moment. Truly amazing last week. pic.twitter.com/XBSCUkH5BR— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 22, 2016
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:
So I'm meeting with @keithellison. His scheduler walks in and hands him this note. Meeting ends :) #NoBillNoBreak pic.twitter.com/JwnusZKZuo— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) June 22, 2016
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts
It was Sen. Elizabeth Warren's birthday yesterday and she brought donuts for the class during recess.
Massachusetts knows: America — and #NoBillNoBreak — runs on @DunkinDonuts. #birthdaydonuts #holdthefloor pic.twitter.com/XG1wzU5q41— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 23, 2016
The @HouseGOP may run from a vote for common-sense gun measures, but they can’t hide. #NoBillNoBreak pic.twitter.com/TMnjPmJClS— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 22, 2016
Protesters gathered outside the Capitol
3 hours later, hundreds of people remain outside of the @uscapitol. https://t.co/7RYzkiadcm pic.twitter.com/VpTYqQAWao— Alex Howard (@digiphile) June 23, 2016