WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A passionate plea from Democrats has turned into a sit-in on the House floor. Democrats are furious that they haven’t had an opportunity to vote on new gun control measures. It comes after the Orlando mass shooting that killed 49 people.
The House is scheduled to break this weekend. All day Wednesday, Democrats were chanting “no bill, no break,” as they staged an historic sit-in for hours that was still going on at 11:30 p.m., demanding action on gun control. It was a stunning scene in the House chamber. Some of members of Congress were literally sitting on the floor.
Democrats tell WJZ it was time to do something out of the ordinary.
“People are saying enough is enough. We’ve seen massacre after massacre,” said Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen.
The sit-in comes just days after the Orlando mass shooting that left 49 people dead.
Democrats are demanding a vote on two bills — one that bans those on the no-fly list from buying a gun, and another that broadens background checks for firearm purchases.
“They are sick and tired of seeing Americans killed. We’re talking about Americans being killed and slaughtered children,” said Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger.
While Democrats continued their gun control sit-in through Wednesday night, around 100 protesters showed their support outside the Capitol.
House Speaker Paul Ryan fired back: “This isn’t trying to come up with a solution to a problem, this is trying to get attention.”
Republicans returned to House chambers around 10 p.m. to try and reconvene and have two votes not related to guns, but Ryan was left trying to shout over demonstrators.
There was no official live video of the demonstration on the floor because cameras inside the House were turned off, but some representatives streamed the protest through social media.