WASHINGTON — Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is planning to discipline the Democrats who participated in a headline-grabbing sit-in over gun control in June, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The California Republican told reporters Tuesday that the lawmakers who participated in the 26-hour protest on the floor of the House broke the chamber’s decorum by blocking proceedings and shooting video with their phones, among other rules.
“Are you going to let the House stand with that behavior going forward?” McCarthy told reporters. “I think it would create real damage to the reputation of the House in the long term.”
There’s still little detail available about which course of action leaders will pursue, but Politico reported the intent is to communicate that Democrats’ actions were not acceptable.
Here’s more on what could come from the Charleston Post and Courier:
McCarthy did not elaborate on what the punitive measures might be but they could include a vote of “censure” or “reprimand” by the full House. That symbolic slap on the wrist has been doled out in the past to punish rule-breakers and perpetrators of bad behavior.
U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., was subject to such a vote of disapproval in 2009 after he burst out by calling President Barack Obama a liar in the middle of a special address to Congress on health care legislation.
The sit-in was led by Atlanta Democrat John Lewis and aimed at bringing attention to the need for gun control legislation following a string of deadly mass shootings, most prominently in Orlando earlier that month. But despite the goodwill their viral campaign won on social media, Democrats’ request for votes on two firearms-related bills was denied and an outside group even filed an ethics complaint against them.