House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) attempted to regain control of the House chamber late Wednesday night after a day-long Democratic sit-in pushing for gun control, but his efforts were not very successful.
The high-profile Republican, who called the demonstration nothing more than a “stunt,” attempted briefly to called the GOP-controlled chamber back into order at around 10 p.m. He was nearly drowned out by Democrats screaming, “No bill, no break,” as he read the rules of procedure before moving forward with the evening’s business.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 23, 2016
The shouts of “Shame!” were so loud, Ryan’s voice could not even be heard at certain points.
The sit-in was staged as House Democrats demanded the opportunity to vote on the bipartisan “no fly, no buy” gun control bill that would bar anyone on the “no fly” or “selectee” lists from purchasing a firearm — a measure the American Civil Liberties Union “strongly” opposes.
As Ryan continued, Democrats attempted to shut him out, singing “We Shall Overcome,” replacing the lyrics with the words, “We Shall Pass a Bill,” an apparent nod to their protest efforts.
Ultimately, Ryan concluded the session and the Republicans left the floor, but many Democrats in the chamber do not plan to leave at all. Several progressive lawmakers, in fact, have blankets and pillows so they can sleep overnight in the Capitol Building.
— Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) June 23, 2016
As chaos was erupting on the floor, the protesting lawmakers enjoyed dinner and snacks in the cloakroom, including Pop Tarts and a late-night Dominos pizza delivery, “courtesy of citizens of California,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) tweeted at around 11:30 p.m.
Such behavior would typically be prohibited on the House floor, but Ryan, aware of the attention given to the sit-in, has so far declined to enforce traditional House rules. TheBlaze outlined the actions Ryan could take against the Democrats earlier.
The heavily-publicized demonstration comes in the wake of the deadly Orlando terror attack at the Pulse nightclub that left 49 dead and dozens more injured.
Naturally, there aren’t many Republicans supporting the Democrat-lead effort. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash (R) tweeted earlier, “Democrats are staging a sit-in on the House floor. They refuse to leave until our Constitution replaces due process with secret lists.”
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