ABC: Democratic Sit-In Like Student Protesters Having Rowdy Slumber Party

June 23, 2016

ABC reporter Jonathan Karl compared the ongoing Democratic sit-in on the House floor meant to force a vote on gun control legislation Thursday to a student protest on a college campus and a "rowdy slumber party."

Congressional Democrats occupied the House of Representatives for nearly 16 hours from Wednesday to Thursday morning, demanding that Republicans hold a vote on gun control measures in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack.

The sit-in, which involved at least 170 House Democrats and some Senate Democrats who traveled across Capitol Hill to join the protest, ended around 3 a.m. when Republican leaders adjourned the House until July 5.

A handful of Democrats still remained on the House floor and said they are determined to keep up pressure on Republicans until they get a vote on gun control.

Karl, reporting on ABC’s Good Morning America, compared the Democrats participating in the sit-in to student protesters having a rowdy slumber party.

"A protest like we’ve never seen before. Democrats in Congress staging a sit-in on the House floor like a bunch of student protesters on a college campus, vowing to stay put until they get votes on gun control measures" Karl said. "The House Speaker [Paul Ryan] tried to restore order, but Democrats refused to back down, singing and waving signs with the names of victims of gun violence. It went on throughout the night. The House floor sometimes looking like a rowdy slumber party."

Karl played a clip of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) excitedly telling Democrats on the House floor that she just brought Dunkin Donuts, causing everyone to break out in loud cheers.

"Lawmakers brought in snacks, piles of late night pizza," Karl said.

The protest was led by Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.), an active member of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and has drawn more than one million viewers on Twitter alone.

Four gun control amendments similar to measures the House wants to vote on failed to pass the Senate earlier this week.

A bipartisan bill led by Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) is currently making its way through the Senate, but it is unclear if it will get the necessary 60 votes to pass.

Republicans have expressed concern that legislation Democrats are pushing to ban Americans from buying guns who are on terror watch lists does not provide sufficient protection for due process to take away citizens’ Second Amendment right to have a firearm. They have also noted that many people are mistakenly put on such lists, arguing that this problem should be addressed with any legislation.