❝ Rebellious Democrats shut down the House’s legislative work on Wednesday, 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.
Exasperated Republicans were forced to recess while cutting off cameras that showed the protest. But in an unprecedented step, C-SPAN used live video feeds from one lawmaker’s Periscope account and another’s Facebook page to transmit words and images from the House chamber.
❝ More than 200 Democrats led by Georgia Rep. John Lewis demanded 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.
“No bill, no break,” shouted Democrats, who demanded that Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., keep the House in session through its planned break next week to vote on gun legislation.
❝ Democrats accused Republicans of political cowardice by failing to schedule a vote.
“Are they more afraid than the children at Sandy Hook?” asked Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., referring to the 2012 shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 elementary school children, in Newtown, Connecticut. “What is so scary about having a vote?”…
❝ Paul Ryan said blah, blah, blah.
Even though Republican pimps for the NRA are assured of funding and wardheeler support, they know the overwhelming majority of Americans – whether they belong to one of the two old parties or not – support modern legislation on weapons of war on our streets, background checks, up-to-date record-keeping. If they’re forced to record a vote, their constituents will literally have a chance to see their cowardice.
❝ C-SPAN, a cable and satellite network that provides continual coverage of House and Senate floor proceedings, does not control the cameras. They’re run on authorization by legislative leaders.
Although the cameras were turned off Wednesday, lawmakers relied on social media to transmit video, using Facebook, Twitter and Periscope. C-SPAN broadcast live video streamed on Periscope and Facebook from lawmakers’ accounts. Democrats posted the Capitol’s main telephone number, which was overwhelmed, and urged constituents to call and request a vote. They also encouraged tweeting under the hashtag #NoBillNoBreak.
❝ Joining the protest were more than a dozen Democratic senators, including Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who had waged a nearly 15-hour filibuster last week to force votes in the Senate on gun legislation.