House Republicans will take “appropriate measures” to discipline Democrats who participated in a June gun-control “sit-in,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday.
“Are you going to let the House stand with that behaviour going forward?” McCarthy, a Republican from California, rhetorically asked reporters. “I think you’d create real damage to the House going forward, in the long term.”
McCarthy said “a number of rules” were broken when House Democrats staged a 25-hour sit-in on the lower chamber’s floor demanding a vote on gun control.
Drew Hammill, spokesman for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, told BuzzFeed it was “absurd” to say the sit-in violated House rules.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said in June he was talking with the body’s sergeant-at-arms and parliamentarians to review options on how to address the sit-in.
Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Rules Committee, previously said that the Democrats who staged the unprecedented move should be “held accountable” for their actions.
The sit-in was characterised at the time by Ryan and other Republicans as a “publicity stunt” aimed at helping Democrats fundraise. The speaker said Democrats had allowed the House to descend into “chaos” and argued that it “sets a very dangerous precedent.”
“One of the things that makes our country strong is our institutions,” Ryan said. “No matter how bad things get in this country, we have a basic structure that ensures a functioning democracy. We can disagree on policy. But we do so within the bounds of order and respect for the system. Otherwise, it all falls apart.”
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