Dems Stage Election-year Sit-in on Guns, GOP Unmoved - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dems Stage Election-year Sit-in on Guns, GOP Unmoved

Posted: Updated:
This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree,D-Maine, shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn. as they participate in sit-down protest seeking a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday. This photo provided by Rep. Chillie Pingree,D-Maine, shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn. as they participate in sit-down protest seeking a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday.
This photo provided by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., left, participate in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday. (AP) This photo provided by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., shows Democrat members of Congress, including Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., center, and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., left, participate in sit-down protest seeking a a vote on gun control measures, Wednesday. (AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- A drained and dwindling group of Democrats, some draped in blankets and toting pillows, carried their remarkable House floor sit-in past daybreak Thursday, disrupting the business of Congress in the wake of the Orlando shooting rampage with demands for gun-control votes in an extraordinary scene of protest broadcast live to the world.
    
Unyielding Republicans who control the chamber branded the move a publicity stunt and summarily adjourned the chamber at around 3:15 a.m. EDT until after the Fourth of July. By 7:30 a.m. Thursday - 20 hours after the protest commenced  - around a dozen Democrats remained, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, giving speeches that mixed victory declarations with vows to never back down in their drive to curb firearm violence.
    
"While the Americans don't always expect us to win, they do expect us to fight," said Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, as dawn broke and the few remaining lawmakers sat in a paper-cluttered chamber beneath empty visitor galleries. "We demonstrated to the American people why we can't get votes on common sense safety measures."
    
When Republicans streamed to the exits hours earlier, Democrats remained on the House floor, shouting "No bill no break!" and waving papers with the names of gun victims written in black. Rep. Maxine Waters of California said she was ready to stay "until Hell freezes over."
    
With a crowd cheering them on from outside the Capitol and many more following the theatrics on social media, Democrats declared success in dramatizing the argument for action to stem gun violence.
    
"Just because they cut and run in the dark of night, just because they have left doesn't mean we are taking no for an answer," said Pelosi, D-Calif.
    
Republicans fiercely resisted the Democratic pressure, saying their colleagues had accomplished nothing other than disrupting the business of the House to score political points.  House Speaker Paul Ryan called it "a publicity stunt."
    
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who had participated in the civil rights sit-ins in the South in the 1960s, said Democrats had "crossed one bridge." He added, "We have other bridges to cross." He said Democrats "made a down payment on ending gun violence" in America.
    
At one point overnight, the two sides nearly came to blows after Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas approached the Democrats and yelled, "Radical Islam!" Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., started yelling back. The two came within inches of each other, both yelling, and were separated by colleagues.
    
Pressure had been building on both sides of the Capitol in the wake of the shooting rampage at a Florida gay nightclub earlier this month that killed 49 people and injured 53 others. The assailant also died in the incident. The mass shooting followed similar tragic incidents over the past years including the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
    
The agitation for action caused a Senate filibuster last week and led to the chaos on the House floor that lasted well into Thursday.
    
The spectacle captured the attention of a Washington gridlocked on guns despite the slaughter in Orlando. Senate Democrats undertook a nearly 15-hour filibuster last week in fighting for the same cause.
    
House Republicans used their prerogatives as the majority party to muscle through a partisan bill funding the Zika crisis with no time for debate, overruling Democrat's objections and then moving to adjourn the House into next month as Democrats cried "Shame, Shame!"
    
Republicans shut off the cameras in the House gallery throughout most of the protest, but Democrats used their cellphones to capture the action, and C-SPAN carried the feeds live in an unprecedented move.
    
Ryan, R-Wisc., said the bills pushed by Democrats, to expand background checks and keep people on the no-fly list from getting guns, would take away people's constitutional rights and deprive them of due process, and he noted similar legislation was already rejected in the Senate earlier in the week.
    
The protest began around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, unfolding on the House floor with little advance warning from the Democrats.
    
By evening, 168 House Democrats - out of 188 - and 34 Senate Democrats joined the protest, according to the House minority leader's office.
    
Scattered around the House floor were signs reading "Disarm Hate." A crowd of several hundred gun control advocates gathered outside the Capitol and cheered as Democrats addressed them.
    
The sit-in - in which Lewis played a leading role - had the look of a 1960s-style protest, as some lawmakers sat on the floor, others in their seats.
    
Republicans had staged a similar protest in 2008. Democrats controlling the House at the time turned off the cameras amid a GOP push for a vote to expand oil and gas drilling. Republicans occupied the floor, delivering speech after speech after Pelosi, then the House speaker, sent lawmakers bolting to their August recess. Pelosi at that time had ordered the cameras turned off.
    
C-SPAN, a cable and satellite network that provides continual coverage of House and Senate floor proceedings, does not control the cameras. They're run on authorization by legislative leaders.  Although the cameras were turned off Wednesday, lawmakers relied on social media to transmit video, using Facebook, Twitter and Periscope.
    
C-SPAN broadcast live video streamed on Periscope and Facebook from lawmakers' accounts. Democrats posted the Capitol's main telephone number, which was overwhelmed, and urged constituents to call and request a vote. They also encouraged tweeting under the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak.
    

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Body Found in Pocomoke River

    Body Found in Pocomoke River

    Monday, June 26 2017 1:36 PM EDT2017-06-26 17:36:37 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 1:50 PM EDT2017-06-26 17:50:13 GMT

    Worcester County Sheriff's Department have confirmed a dead body was found on Monday morning in the Pocomoke River.  

    More

    The Worcester County Sheriff's Office has confirmed a body was found Monday morning in the Pocomoke River. 

    More
  • Delaware Lawmakers Eye Gender Identity Protections

    Delaware Lawmakers Eye Gender Identity Protections

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:50 AM EDT2017-06-27 05:50:30 GMT
    Tuesday, June 27 2017 1:51 AM EDT2017-06-27 05:51:15 GMT

    Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware's Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

    More

    Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware's Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

    More
  • *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    Monday, June 26 2017 7:32 PM EDT2017-06-26 23:32:15 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-06-27 02:53:01 GMT
    Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Two Arrested for Heroin Possession During Traffic Stop

    Two Arrested for Heroin Possession During Traffic Stop

    Monday, June 26 2017 4:59 PM EDT2017-06-26 20:59:56 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 5:07 PM EDT2017-06-26 21:07:55 GMT
    Two people were arrested after deputies found heroin during a traffic stop.Two people were arrested after deputies found heroin during a traffic stop.

    Two people were arrested after a traffic stop lead to a heroin bust, according to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office. 

    More

    Two people were arrested after a traffic stop lead to a heroin bust, according to the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office. 

    More
  • *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    *Update: Kent County Fire Sends Smoke Billowing Into Air

    Monday, June 26 2017 7:32 PM EDT2017-06-26 23:32:15 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 10:53 PM EDT2017-06-27 02:53:01 GMT
    Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)Smoke billows into the sky on Monday from a fire west of Felton. (Nick Layman/WBOC)

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More

    KENT COUNTY, Del. -- Firefighters continue to battle a building fire at the former San-Del pickle plant in western Kent County that sent smoke billowing into the air.

    More
  • Two Inmates Treated for Suspected Overdoses at Vaughn Prison Near Smyrna

    Two Inmates Treated for Suspected Overdoses at Vaughn Prison Near Smyrna

    Monday, June 26 2017 8:41 PM EDT2017-06-27 00:41:25 GMT
    Monday, June 26 2017 8:41 PM EDT2017-06-27 00:41:25 GMT
    The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)
    DOVER, Del. -- Two inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna were treated for suspected overdoses last week, correctional officials said. Jayme Gravell, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Correction, said two inmates were treated with Narcan and became responsive following medical treatment during separate incidents on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Gravell declined to give more details about the nature of the suspected overdoses, including the ...More
    DOVER, Del. -- Two inmates at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna were treated for suspected overdoses last week, correctional officials said. Jayme Gravell, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Department of Correction, said two inmates were treated with Narcan and became responsive following medical treatment during separate incidents on Wednesday and Thursday. However, Gravell declined to give more details about the nature of the suspected overdoses, including the ...More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Delaware Girl Falls From Six Flags Ride

    Delaware Girl Falls From Six Flags Ride

    A teenager fell about 25 feet from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, falling into a crowd of park guests and employees who had gathered to catch her.

    The 14-year-old girl was from Greenwood, Delaware, and was taken to Albany Medical Center in stable condition and with no serious injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff's Office. Her identity has not been released.

    More

    A teenager fell about 25 feet from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, falling into a crowd of park guests and employees who had gathered to catch her.

    The 14-year-old girl was from Greenwood, Delaware, and was taken to Albany Medical Center in stable condition and with no serious injuries, according to the Warren County Sheriff's Office. Her identity has not been released.

    More
  • Del. State Police Searching for Alleged Drug Dealer

    Del. State Police Searching for Alleged Drug Dealer

    Delaware State Police are searching for an alleged drug dealer after they say he disappeared from the Dover Mall Wednesday night.

    More

    Delaware State Police are searching for an alleged drug dealer after they say he disappeared from the Dover Mall Wednesday night.

    More
  • Law Enforcement Warns Against the Use of Dirt Bike's on Salisbury's Streets

    Law Enforcement Warns Against the Use of Dirt Bike's on Salisbury's Streets

    Law enforcement warns against the dangers of dirt biking on public streets.

    With the warmer weather, police said they have seen an uptick in dirt biking throughout Salisbury.

    Lieutenant Jason King from the Salisbury Police Department said, "A lot of times they aren't paying attention to traffic on the roadway and people who may be walking in neighborhoods and its just not safe to do those kind of things."

    More

    Law enforcement warns against the dangers of dirt biking on public streets.

    With the warmer weather, police said they have seen an uptick in dirt biking throughout Salisbury.

    Lieutenant Jason King from the Salisbury Police Department said, "A lot of times they aren't paying attention to traffic on the roadway and people who may be walking in neighborhoods and its just not safe to do those kind of things."

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices