WASHINGTON – House Democrats continued their disruptive demands for votes on gun control Tuesday, though this time it lasted less than two minutes.
Less than a week after staging a near 26-hour sit-in on the House floor that garnered widespread attention, a half-dozen Democrats stood in the nearly empty chamber and loudly demanded recognition during a session held strictly for procedural business.
Despite their shouts, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., who was presiding, gaveled the session to a close two minutes after it began.
The choreographed outburst was designed to continue calling attention to their insistence on votes for bills barring people on the government’s no-fly list from getting guns and on tightening the background checks required for many firearms purchases.
Democrats have focused on the issue since the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando in which 49 victims died and 53 others were wounded.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has called the Democrats’ action a “stunt” and criticized them for using it in fundraising appeals.
“We demand a vote, and we’re not going to stop until we get one,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
The lawmakers stopped short of saying they would resume their sit-in when the House returns from its July 4 recess next week. Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., said they would use “every tool that we have,” but offered no specifics.
The Democrats’ uproar occurred after the House chaplain, Father Patrick J. Conroy, opened the day’s session with a prayer that included: “Let your spirit of peace descend upon this place, and those who work here.”
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