More than half of the Jewish members of the House participated in a sit-in protest Wednesday with dozens of Democratic representatives in response to the Senate’s failure to pass new measures reforming the nation’s gun laws.
Using the slogan #NoBillNoBreak, the sit-in by dozens of House Democrats aims to force a vote on new gun laws. Last week, Senate Democrats held a 15-hour filibuster to force the Republican Senate leadership to hold Monday’s vote on measures proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Chris Murphy.
House Democrats frustrated by inaction on guns have staged several actions on the House floor in recent days. They have interrupted a moment of silence in honor of the Orlando victims and unsuccessfully seeking recognition to bring up bills on expanding background checks and preventing people on “no-fly” and other surveillance lists from buying guns.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., spoke passionately on the House floor Wednesday about the adverse effect guns and gun violence has had on her city of Chicago. Schakowsky said new gun laws were needed, even if they weren’t perfect.
“These proposals won’t stop every single gun death. But we know that they will stop some,” she said. “I call on Speaker [Paul] Ryan, along with my colleagues, to bring these bills to the floor before we break.”
Presiding House officer, Republican Rep. Ted Poe, entered the chamber and declared the House not in order. After banging the gavel several times in an attempt to clear the protesters, he announced the chamber would be in recess and left.
When House Republican leadership brought the chamber into recess, they cut off the House video feed as their protesting Democratic colleagues continued to give speeches.—With Reuters
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