A group of liberal Capitol Hill staffers were arrested in the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) after demanding Democratic leadership resume talks on climate legislation.
More than a dozen employees of Democratic members of Congress sat down in Schumer's office holding signs calling on the majority leader to renew efforts to combat climate change. The protest ended after about half an hour when Capitol Police bound the disgruntled staffers' hands with zip ties and escorted them out.
One of the protesters, Saul Levin, a staffer for "Squad" member Rep. Cori Bush (D., Mo.), tweeted photos of the demonstration from within Schumer's office.
"We, staffers of the US Congress, are peacefully sitting in on Senator Schumer’s office to demand Dems pass climate justice policy this year," Levin tweeted. "We are putting our bodies on the line because we have no other choice."
Congressional staffers have increasingly attempted to pressure lawmakers to pursue certain policies and deliver greater benefits for staff. Staffers across several progressive offices have begun efforts to unionize in pursuit of "pay equity" and other aims.
In a similar protest last week, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) pretended to be handcuffed and arrested as they were taken away from a protest at the Supreme Court.
Levin is the son of progressive congressman Andy Levin (D., Mich.), who is currently caught up in a primary contest with another incumbent. A focal point of the race concerns Levin’s failure to support the state of Israel, a key American ally.
Negotiations on a massive climate spending package broke down last week when Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) rejected efforts to spend hundreds of billions on combating carbon emissions. Manchin cited record inflation and the importance of traditional energy sources in outlining his opposition to the "green" policies.