Three months later, there are still no new laws, and now House Republicans are preparing to make any future such protests by lawmakers more difficult.
Democratic Rep. John Larson told Roll Call that his caucus expected Republicans to enact a formal ban on sit-ins in the House before Congress adjourns for recess in a few weeks.
“The rumor that we hear is that [it will happen] on their way out the door,” Larson told Roll Call.
It’s not an unfounded rumor, because House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters last Tuesday that Republicans were wrapping up “an investigation” into the protest and that there would be forthcoming action taken. No information was provided on what the investigation entailed – perhaps watching the Periscope broadcasts of the protest on repeat for three months?
“We expect members of Congress to adhere to the rules and the decorum of what is expected by being on the floor,” McCarthy said.
Just a reminder of what the rules that were broken, a group of Democrats occupied the well of the House for a period of time and refused to move, and then began to broadcast the protest over the internet on their phones after the Republican House leadership turned off the CSPAN cameras. The monsters.
The House Republican leadership is trying to walk a fine line by figuring out how to condemn the protest without condemning a tactic that helped bring about change during the Civil Rights Movement. That might be why they’re focusing on “decorum” and improper use of electronic devices.
But it’s also important to note that the Democrats’ sit-in was both ineffective—in that no action has yet to be taken—and in favor of a very flawed bill that really only restricted gun sales to suspected terrorists on the country’s no-fly list. The no-fly list is a civil liberties disaster and most gun deaths in the country are not caused by suspected terrorists.
It would be better If the Republicans could alter whatever punishment plans they have in store and instead chastise Democrats for an ineffectual protest over problematic legislation. Somehow, I don’t think that’s in their docket.