Policy

Breaking: Democrats' House Sit-In Wrapping Up

Few members stayed behind to rally until dawn demanding vote on gun bill

Protesters chant on East Front of the Capitol to show solidarity with House Democrats' sit-in on the floor calling on Republicans to allow votes on gun violence legislation, June 23, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Update (Thursday, 1:00 p.m.): A Democratic aide said Rep. John Lewis will close out the Democrats sit-in on the floor shortly and that members will move out to the east front of the Capitol  to address gun control advocates gathered outside. For more see: [ House Democrats Bring Sit-In to an End ]  

House Democrats continued their sit in demanding action on gun control early Thursday morning as members rose to read names of people who lost their lives in mass shootings and to demand a vote on gun violence.  

"When the speaker of the House says this is just a publicity stunt, say that to the Orlando families, say that to the Sandy Hook families," said Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., at about 6 a.m. "That's not a publicity stunt. It's a crisis. It demands that the House take action."  

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said the Democrats were sending a message with their continued protest.  

"The American people need us to take their pain and turn it into a passion," Cummings said at 6:10 a.m.. "We're not satisfied to have a moment of silence. that's not enough. What you are asking us to do is to stop the violence, to do something about this gun violence."  

[ Inside the House's First Social Media Non-Filibuster ]  

The House adjourned shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday with no plan to return for legislative business until July 5. But some Democrats vowed to avoid what they called vanishing into the night.  

Democrats Begin House Sit-In For Gun Vote

They stayed until daybreak — even if a few of them were seen nodding off in their chairs.  

[ Key Moments in the House Sit In on Guns] Hoyer and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., vowed to continue to fight when the House returns, but declined to give details on what shape that might take.  

Democrats acknowledged they did not get the vote they demanded but said their effort elevated their fight to vote on gun legislation following mass shootings.  

[ 9 Years of Mass Shootings: How Did Congress Respond? ]  

"It is so disrespectful, it is so insensitive for our response, the majority's response to lend a blind eye to the crying eyes...," said Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y. at about 6:25 a.m. "I am so proud of the efforts we have made today. individual voices, collective voices, saying we can do better than this."

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