Speaker Paul Ryan is considering how to punish Democrats for last month’s House floor sit-in, even as the chamber’s top Democrat mocked the GOP threats and didn’t rule out reviving the disruptive move to demand gun votes.
“Make my day. Make my day,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday of Republican steps toward penalizing Democrats for their nearly 26-hour protest. Asked if Democrats might renew their sit-in, she said, “I’ll do what my members want to do.”
The two leaders’ remarks, in back-to-back news conferences, came as Republicans struggled to resolve internal differences that have imperiled a GOP-written gun and anti-terror bill. It was unclear when the House will consider the measure.
Ryan’s and Pelosi’s comments underscored that partisan tensions remain high over the election-year confrontation over guns prompted by last month’s mass shooting in Orlando. The statement by Ryan, R-Wis., also highlighted the pressure he faces from rank-and-file Republicans to discipline Democrats for their overnight takeover of the chamber’s floor.
Democrats resumed a different form of protest Thursday, as scores of lawmakers trooped to the House microphone holding photographs of people killed by guns and asked the House to debate legislation tightening background checks for firearms buyers. Their requests were denied.
Democrats read gun victims’ names and said each was “a victim of gun violence who never received a moment of silence on the House floor.” That was a derisive reference to the moments of silence the House often conducts after mass shootings. Democrats say the House should take concrete action by enacting gun restrictions.
In answer to a question, Ryan did not rule out a vote of censure or reprimand for sit-in participants.
“We’re looking at all of those things,” he said, adding that Republicans didn’t want to make a decision “in a rash, wrong way.”
Ryan said the House parliamentarian and sergeant-at-arms have provided recommendations for steps he might take. He said they have studied videotape of the sit-in and researched congressional rules.
“My big concern is that a bad trend happens where we throw the rule of law out the window, Congress doesn’t function and there’s no hope for bipartisanship ever again,” Ryan said.
Pelosi scoffed at the threat of Republican action against Democrats.
“What are they going to do, investigate John Lewis for sitting on the House floor?” she asked. Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia who helped lead the sit-in, was a prominent civil rights leader in the 1960s.
The GOP’s anti-terrorism bill was stalled due to opposition by Democrats who consider it ineffective and conservatives who say it’s too restrictive on firearms and too lax on battling extremism.
“We’re trying to get this legislation right. We’re trying to reflect a consensus” among Republicans, Ryan said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Sarah Porcari says
Ryan already CAVED again He will now allow a gun vote in the house. That was the reason for the illegal dem.sit in
Helen Higgason says
These liberals are no better than evil blacks , that killed the Dallas Police officers, they seem to hate what America stands for, it’s their way or…..well you know ….die I guess!!!!!’
Helen Higgason says
Well…. What ever!!!!!!
this from someone that said all military veterans are potential terrorists.
How much more stupid can pelosi be. she has done a fine job of it so far.
The Iceman says
I agree with you but Ryan is a wet noodle, limp when it comes to sticking up for GOP Conservatives. He will most likely do nothing much
Ryan will probably cut out their marijuana break for a week.
rodney burke says
dems act like children, PUNISH them like the juveniles they are. They KNOW better. they need to be unelected
Who keeps electing these traitors and clowns?
She is up for reelection this year. How about getting her out of there, California, you bunch of buffoon voters. How many dead people voted for Pelosi all these years , since 1987. Really, how stupid can voters be. You have been using too many of the drugs coming over the border, stop now clear your minds.
uugggghh…..our fellow Americans, illegal voters and dead voters.
Why do you think the dims are against picture id for voting?
Richard Hullfish says
Through the book at them Paul. Tell them to keep there dirty asses off our carpet. Make the punishment monetary so they feel it. And for Nancy Pelosi , put a bag over her head, she stops all the clocks in the white house when she walks in. Give her clearance for the shit house only….Ain’t free speech wonderful…………..
The GOP and Democrats together need to start looking at the gun laws that have been passed, then figure out how to enforce them. Then if they can figure that out and find that they don’t work, look for another way. But to sit on their ASSES and pass laws that they can’t enforce seem to me a little counter productive. They need to pull their HEADS out of their ASS and use their brains for something that makes sense……
Its not that they can’t enforce the gun laws, they just won’t. They want us to be totally gun free so they can control us like hitler did in germany.
Justin W says
In this election year it might be good to let the Democrats shut the House down. Their antics will get plenty of news coverage and the voters will get angry at these wealthy people who are not doing their jobs. Some day the Republicans will be in the minority in the House. When something comes up they don’t like they can shut down House proceedings using the same method used by the Democrats.
Jerry Hawker says
I believe these idiot attention seeking Dems should all forgo their body guards carrying weapons! I mean…it should be something they would all agree to do! As far as Pelosi goes: that dimple in her chin isn’t a dimple!! It is her navel! Maybe all that plastic surgery that the tax payers have paid for has tightened her skin so tight she isn’t getting blood to her brain!
Stephen Russell says
Deny leadership posts in Comms alone.
Reduce Floor benefits.
Make names Public
Lobby for Recalls alone.
Slow actions on theyre bills pending.
Refile those bills.
More can be done.