WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Congressional Democrats have ended their sit-in on the floor of the House, but vow to come back. Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation are among the representatives demanding a vote on gun control bills.
House Democrats took over the floor at around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and held it until early Thursday afternoon, WJZ’s Pat Warren reports.
Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer took the podium in protest.
“We speak for all those whose days were taken away from them. We speak for the families who will grieve every day,” Hoyer said.
Maryland Democrats joined the House sit-in, demanding a vote on gun control bills to prevent people on watch lists from buying guns and broaden background checks for the purchase of firearms.
Democrats on the floor broke into a chorus of “We Shall Overcome” when speaker Paul Ryan refused to bring the bills to a vote.
“Call your representatives up, call these Republicans up on the phone and tell them we want a vote,” Ryan said.
“People are determined to have a sit-in, a stand-in, to keep talking,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
“When you’re in the minority, it’s the only way you can get attention,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger.
“This is supposed to be the people’s house, not the gun lobby’s,” Van Hollen added.
Maryland’s Chris Van Hollen is among others who are in it for the long haul.
“We’re talking about mass murders that have occurred where little children have been killed, and it’s on and on. And as the greatest country in the world, we have to fix that problem,” said Ruppersberger.
Nearly 26-hours after the sit-in started, the Democrats walked out as a group, saying the fight will go on.
“We’re going to continue to push, to pull, to stand up, and if necessary, to sit down,” said John Lewis.
Congress is in recess until July 5.
President Obama tweeted his support of the Democrats’ action.
The pressure is on to pass gun control legislation in the wake of the Orlando massacre.