Insurrection? Activists Occupy Speaker McCarthy’s Office

AP Photo/Nathan Howard

On Monday, a group of leftist activists decided it was a good idea to stage a protest in Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office on Capitol Hill.

In a video that was posted on social media, activists can be seen occupying McCarthy’s office in the Rayburn House Office Building, taking part in a protest that looks an awful lot like an “insurrection,” according to Democrats.

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The activists occupied McCarthy’s office to demand the reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has invested millions of dollars towards combating HIV/AIDS worldwide since its inception in 2003. Funding for the program is due to expire at the end of the month.

Here’s video of the occupation/insurrection/protest that was posted to X (formerly known as Twitter) Monday morning:

The U.S. Capitol Police responded to the incident and arrested seven protestors for unlawful entry “after the demonstrators refused to cease demonstrating.”

Related: The ‘Insurrection’ the Left Wants You to Forget

According to a report from the Washington Examiner, “The protest comes as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is set to lapse on Oct. 1 amid criticism from House Republicans who say much of the budget is allocated toward abortion providers — a suggestion that Democrats deny. A lapse would significantly affect the program that is credited with saving more than 25 million lives and combating the global HIV epidemic.”

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The PEPFAR renewal is just one of several items on the House agenda over the next three weeks as lawmakers seek to pass a budget ahead of the Sept. 30 deadline, as well as come to an agreement on other spending legislation, such as the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.

Congress must pass its annual budget before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, or lawmakers risk a government shutdown. Budget disagreements are typical as both parties fight over spending priorities, with a final deal often not being made until the eleventh hour after a marathon voting session.

Lawmakers must advance 12 individual appropriations bills in each chamber before sending their final product to the president’s desk for approval, setting the stage for an arduous process as House Republicans and Senate Democrats disagree on spending numbers. In recent years, Congress has been able to circumvent dragged-out voting sessions by combining the bill into just one piece of legislation, known as an omnibus, allowing Congress to advance its entire budget with just one vote.

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Despite the unauthorized entry and the occupation of McCarthy’s office, don’t expect these protestors to be treated the same way as the protesters who entered the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Don’t expect them to rot in jail cells without due process, or to be dubbed insurrectionists by the media.

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