WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on House Democrats’ protest demanding a vote on gun control legislation (all times local):
The House has adjourned until after July 4 after majority Republicans pushed through a partisan bill to deal with the Zika outbreak. Republicans moved to adjourn immediately after the Zika vote to shut down a round-the-clock sit-in by Democrats demanding votes on gun-control bills. Democrats denounced the GOP plan as “cowardly” and stayed on the floor to demand votes on bills to strengthen background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns.
A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the Democrats’ protest as a “publicity stunt” and said Republicans “have plowed ahead to do what is needed to responsibly address” the Zika crisis.
Spokeswoman AshLee Strong said the House “is focused on eliminating terrorists, not constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. And no stunts on the floor will change that.
The House is back into session as lawmakers prepared to push through a Republican-sponsored bill to deal with the Zika outbreak and then adjourn until after July 4 to shut down a round-the-clock sit-in by Democrats demanding votes on gun-control bills. Democrats denounced the GOP plan as “cowardly”.
Republicans had hoped to present themselves as soberly attending to business and Democrats as disruptive. Democrats — yelling “no bill, no break” — vowed to stay in the House chamber until Republicans yielded to their demands to hold votes on bills to strengthen background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns in the wake of last week’s massacre in Orlando, Florida.
Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan won thunderous applause and a standing ovation after she talked in personal terms about her experience growing up in a home where she was threatened by gun violence.
Dingell’s husband is former Rep. John Dingell, a gun owner and longtime NRA supporter. Debbie Dingell said her husband is a responsible gun owner, but said she grew up in a house with a man who should not have had access to a gun — her father.
Dingell recalled her father pointing a gun at her and wondering if she would live or die, adding: “I know what it’s like to hide in a closet and pray to God, ‘Do not let anything happen to me.’ “
Dingell said domestic abuse happens “in all kinds of households.”
Several hundred protesters who back tougher gun control are outside the Capitol are showing solidarity with House Democrats demanding a vote on legislation.
Throughout the night, they heard from Democratic lawmakers who were staging a daylong sit-in on the House floor.
As the crowd grew, they shouted “hold the floor” and “do your job” to lawmakers.
The demonstration outside the Capitol was organized by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun sense in America.
Lawmakers brought pillows and blankets to the House as the Democratic protest stretched toward midnight.
Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut had a sleeping bag, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts brought Dunkin’ Donuts for her House colleagues who were staying awake.
Other lawmakers also brought snacks, including some who broke House rules to eat on the House floor.
Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II of Missouri, dressed in a pink suit, carried a pink-and-white striped pillow in his hand for several hours as he walked around the House chamber.
Cleaver, a Methodist minister, later was one of several peacemakers to break up a near-fight between a Republican and a Democratic lawmaker.
Democrats and Republicans nearly came to blows on the House floor during an extraordinary protest for a vote on gun control legislation.
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas approached the Democrats and yelled, “Radical Islam!” Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida started yelling back at him. The two came within inches of each other, both yelling.
Lawmakers from both parties separated the two.
The Democrats halted the day’s legislative session with their sit-in and protest. Republicans have struggled to force the House back into session.
The House is back in recess after two votes, and Democrats are loudly protesting for votes on gun control.
In the aftermath of the massacre in Orlando, Florida, last week, Democrats are staging an extraordinary sit-in. They shouted as Speaker Paul Ryan gaveled the House into session Wednesday night.
Democrats promised to stay until they got a vote on guns. It was unclear what would happen next in the House.
Democrats chanted and shouted over Speaker Paul Ryan as he gaveled the House into session and tried to bring order.
Ryan pounded the gavel several times, but Democrats were relentless in their chanting. Ryan called a vote.
As Ryan left the podium, Democrats booed and some shouted, “Shame, shame.”
The extraordinary unrest continued throughout the vote on labor legislation. Democrats want a vote on gun control.
House Democrats are chanting “no bill, no break!” as the Republicans move toward a vote on labor legislation.
After more than 10 hours of a sit-in on the floor, Democrats are holding photos of gun victims and papers with their names. Democrats want a vote on gun control legislation before lawmakers’ weeklong break next week.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says the House won’t vote on gun control legislation. He called the Democrats’ action Wednesday a publicity stunt and says Congress won’t do anything that could undermine the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms.
Corrects times listed at top.