After more than 25 hours of chanting, protesting, and occupying the House floor, the House Democrats’ sit-in over gun control is over.
The sit-in led to a chaotic night, where House Democrats yelled, “Shame! Shame!” at House Speaker Paul Ryan, sat down on the floor, and got into dramatic screaming matches in the middle of the night. While it wasn’t the first sit-in — House Republicans held one in 2008 on energy policy — it was arguably one of the most dramatic, helped by social media that spread the representatives’ words even when the cameras on the House floor were turned off.
Ryan called a recess early Thursday morning after a vote on a bill about the Zika virus. The House won’t be in session again until July 5.
But Democrats continued the sit-in for nearly 12 more hours, eventually ending it without a vote on the gun control measures they sought. The legislators walked out of the Capitol and were greeted by cheering crowds:
Crowd chants "We're with you!" pic.twitter.com/QfBf3h13If— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) June 23, 2016
From here, presumably, they’re heading to recess. And although the sit-in didn’t succeed at getting a vote on the gun control measures House Democrats sought, it made a potent political statement that got a lot of attention and that could have ramifications for this fall’s elections. Lewis is promising that the action will resume when Congress returns:
House Democrats greeting supporters outside. Rep. Lewis thanks them and says this will continue when House returns. And vote, he says.— Emmarie Huetteman (@emmarieNYT) June 23, 2016