Washington, U.S. – After 24 hours on the House floor, Democrats ended the sit-in Thursday. House Democrats protested for gun control legislation and demanded a vote on the issue.
Democrats ended the sit-in with the civil rights icon, and leader of the Democrat protest, Rep. John Lewis, who participated in 1960 in the civil rights sit-ins in the Southern states.
Surrounded by his colleagues Lewis said that the Democrats should never give up or give in and added that Democrats must keep the faith and must come back to the House on July 5th more determined than ever, USA Today reports.
Before ending the sit-in, Democrats promised to continue with the issue after the July Fourth break. The House is out of session until July 5.
Florida Representative and Democratic National Committee Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, told the CBS Thursday morning that they (the Democratic House) were holding the floor of the House Representative. They will do it until they get the majority to do their job and give them a vote. She said that it is a cowardly act that they have not at least allowed the vote.
According to USA Today, Kentucky Representative John Yarmuth was among the original protest planners and was with Lewis when the sit-in began. He said on Thursday that the strategy was to elevate the issue to make people hold politicians accountable if their votes are not responsive to what they want. He also added that the Democrats will continue to impact in the Capitol when they come back in two weeks, and then they will talk about the issue during the convention, and they hope that in September the will be able to push the issue again in the heat of the campaign to get awareness.
House Democrats broke the rules when they started using cell phones to make videos of the sit-in where the lawmakers gave their speeches on gun control. The House leaders turn off the C-Span cameras during the sit-in and Democrats decided to broadcast the protest using Periscope and Facebook.
The New Hampshire Democrats are also sitting Thursday in Concord, to support House Democrat at the Capitol. To make public, the sit-in, House Democrat of New Hampshire is using Meerkat.
— NH House Dem Caucus (@NHHouseDems) June 23, 2016
The beginning of the sit-in at the Capitol and the rejected bills on gun control in the Senate.
The protest in Washington started on Wednesday by most of the 188 Democrats who took turns to speak about gun control and the tragedies that had happened, in their view, due to the easy and not enough supervised access that Americans have to fire weapons. Some of the protesters sat in their seats, others on the floor.
At the Capitol, dozens of Senate Democrats joined the sit-in, and the public supported the action from outside.
Former members of Congress also joined the House of Democrats and one of them, Rev. Jesse Jackson, said it was ironic that the sit-in in Congress was about to vote, USA Today informs.
Texas Representative Ted Poe tried to regain House order at noon on Wednesday, but the Democrats refused to quiet. Republicans regain control of the House of Representative at 10:00 p.m. Wednesday and after passing a vote to approve $1.1 billion to combat the Zika virus, the House was adjourned, at 03:00 a.m.
On Monday, 4 bills regarding gun controlled were rejected by the Senate. The first bill proposed to update the background check system for gun purchases and to alert security forces when an individual from the government terror watch list buys a gun. The Republican Committee proposed the bill. It got 53-47.
The second bill was a Democrat proposal to expand the background check system for those buying guns and online purchasing. The vote was 44-59.
The second Republican bill to be rejected on Monday was sponsor by Texas Senator John Cornyn, and proposed to delay gun sales to individuals included on a government terror watch list. The vote was 53-47.
The last bill that failed to pass was a proposal from California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who initially presented the motion after the shooting in San Bernardino. The bill consists of forbidding all gun sales to in individual on the terror list. The vote was 47-53 and, to pass a bill, 60 votes are needed.
The Republican stand after the Democrat sit-in
Speaker Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Representative, said Thursday that they (the Republican House) are not allowing stunts like this one to stop them from carrying out the people’s business. The Speaker stated that gun control bills violates people’s constitutional rights and deprive them of due process. ABC 7 NY reports.
USA Today says on their website that regarding the Democrats use of cellphones in the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan declared they áre reviewing everything right now… to ensure they can bring order after the sit-in.
Source: USA Today