House Dems, Republicans nearly come to blows during sit-in for gun control

In this frame grab taken from AP video Georgia Rep. John Lewis leads more than 200 Democrats in demanding a vote on measures to expand background checks and block gun purchases by some suspected terrorists in the aftermath of last week's massacre in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people in a gay nightclub. Rebellious Democrats shut down the House's legislative work on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, staging a sit-in on the House floor and refusing to leave until they secured a vote on gun control measures before lawmakers' weeklong break. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL/AP) — The Latest on House Democrats’ protest demanding a vote on gun control legislation:

UPDATE: 11 p.m. ET

Democrats and Republicans nearly came to blows on the House floor during an extraordinary protest for a vote on gun control legislation.

Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas approached the Democrats and yelled, “Radical Islam!” Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida started yelling back at him. The two came within inches of each other, both yelling.

Lawmakers from both parties separated the two.

The Democrats halted the day’s legislative session with their sit-in and protest. Republicans have struggled to force the House back into session.

UPDATE: 10:35 p.m. ET

The House is back in recess after two votes, and Democrats are loudly protesting for votes on gun control.

In the aftermath of the massacre in Orlando, Florida, last week, Democrats are staging an extraordinary sit-in. They shouted as Speaker Paul Ryan gaveled the House into session Wednesday night.

Democrats promised to stay until they got a vote on guns. It was unclear what would happen next in the House.

UPDATE: 10:10 p.m. ET

Democrats chanted and shouted over Speaker Paul Ryan as he gaveled the House into session and tried to bring order.

Ryan pounded the gavel several times, but Democrats were relentless in their chanting. Ryan called a vote.

As Ryan left the podium, Democrats booed and some shouted, “Shame, shame.”

The extraordinary unrest continued throughout the vote on labor legislation. Democrats want a vote on gun control.

Media General National Correspondent Mark Meredith was live-tweeting from the House Gallery when Republicans arrived:

Follow Mark Meredith on Twitter: @markpmeredith.

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL)— It’s been a tense day on the floor of the House of Representatives. More than 30 House Democrats seized the floor, led by Rep. John Lewis (R-Ga.), demanding a vote on gun control legislation.

Legislators began today’s sit-in just before the House broke for afternoon recess, walking to the front of the chamber, chanting, “no vote, no break” and “no bill, no break.”

This follows an equally intense week of political discourse centered around the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, when self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 at a gay nightclub he once frequented in Orlando, Fla., on June 12.

Rep. Lewis is a veteran leader of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and has represented the fifth district of Georgia, which includes most of Atlanta, since 1987.

C-SPAN feeds were cut almost immediately after the sit-in began, despite protests from Democratic leaders, the media and concerned citizens. Democratic legislators and C-SPAN have tried to circumvent this, broadcasting feeds intermittently with Periscope and Facebook Live.

Almost immediately, Rep. Scott Peters of Calif., used his cell phone to transmit video via Periscope. You can watch his feed online here.

In the hours following, popular Democratic leaders, like Pres. Barack Obama, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have voiced their support for the sit-in on social media or joined in on the action themselves.

Republican leaders have been much quieter about the protest, allowing Speaker Paul Ryan to defend their position, calling it a ‘publicity stunt’ on CNN. Ryan insists that the C-SPAN blackout is due to long-standing rules in the chamber, claiming video feeds are cut off whenever the legislative body is technically not in session.

Senate leaders tried a similar move earlier this week, when Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) launched a 15-hour filibuster ahead of four pieces of gun legislation—two from Democrats, two from Republicans—that were all struck down by the Republican majority.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has yet to comment publicly on the sit-in.

You can follow the action in Washington as it happens via social media with the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak.

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s