House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday that the House leadership will punish Democrats who participated in the gun control sit-in with “appropriate measures.”
“Are you going to let the House stand with that behavior going forward?” McCarthy asked reporters. “I think you’d create real damage to the House going forward, in the long term.”
McCarthy said there were “a number of rules” broken when the House Democrats sat in on the floor for 25 hours to make a point about gun control.
Minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s spokesperson denied any rules were broken.
House Republicans and others characterized the sit-in as a publicity stunt that brought chaos to the House floor.
“One of the things that makes our country strong is our institutions,” Ryan said. “No matter how bad things get in this country, we have a basic structure that ensures a functioning democracy. We can disagree on policy. But we do so within the bounds of order and respect for the system. Otherwise, it all falls apart.”
The House Democrats staged a sit-in to protest the lack of “meaningful gun control” following the Orlando massacre. Their preferred legislation would include several Constitution-violating measures including blocking gun purchases for people on secret government lists generated by bureaucrats, denying potential gun consumers their due-process rights.
At the time, Democrats ignored threats of punishment from Ryan for disrupting House business, instead blocking consideration of a spending bill for financial services.
Ryan did eventually cave into the Democrats, saying he would bring a bill to the floor, but the intended GOP-approved bill did not have enough votes from the Republicans to pass. The House Freedom Caucus refused to support the bill, saying it infringed on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms.
What do you think Ryan should do to punish the Democrats for their theatrical sit-in?