Issues

House Democrats ‘Occupy’ Floor to Push for Gun Control

Congressional Democrats declared they would "occupy the floor" in a push for gun control legislation Wednesday morning in an unusual scene in the House of Representatives.

Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.) gave remarks calling on House leadership to bring gun control laws to the floor for a vote, saying the Republican-controlled chamber had "been too quiet for too long." Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.) spoke next, saying the "soul of the nation" cried out for a vote on the issue.

"We are gathered here on this floor today to accomplish a single goal. We implore, we ask our colleagues … Our colleague from Georgia stood on that side to appeal to the better angels on that side of the aisle to provide us with the simple dignity that every American is calling for: a vote," Larson said.

Larson yielded back to Lewis.

"Now is the time for us to find a way to dramatize it, to make it real," Lewis said. "We have to occupy the floor of the House until there's action."

The dozens of Democrats gathered around sat down on the House floor.

"Rise up, Democrats!" Larson said. "Rise up, Americans! This cannot stand! We will occupy this floor. We will no longer be denied a right to vote."

Larson then said he yielded to "our majority whip," Rep. Steny Hoyer (D., Md.). Hoyer is actually the Minority Whip.

Before he could speak however, the House was declared to be in recess until noon.

Democrats have made a concerted push for new gun control laws in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, where a man who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people at a gay nightclub.