GOP leadership looks to penalize Dems for gun control sit-in as Congress resumes

House sit-in ends as Senate takes test vote on no fly/no buy bill

A 26-hour protest in June by House Democrats may be the subject of debate this month as Republicans consider taking action against some who participated. (Photo: Nancy Pelosi Facebook)

Returning from a two-month vacation, House Republicans are mulling censure for Democrats who protested on the body’s floor calling for votes on gun measures.

In June, Dems vowed to keep the lower chamber of Congress in session until a vote was held on gun control proposals, seized the floor of the House, and, though recessed by GOP leaders, delivered speeches while streaming their actions via social media. Republican Speaker Paul Ryan sent lawmakers on vacation through July 4, after which the protesting representatives ended their catered 26-hour sit-in which gun rights groups and conservatives painted as a stunt.

After briefly resuming session July 5, Ryan recessed the House again the next week despite failed efforts by both camps to hold a vote on gun measures.

Now, after a summer that has included an official complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics over fundraising emails sent by sit-in attendees during their protest and some 50 Democrats holding a “National Day of Action on Gun Violence Prevention” in their home districts while on break, Congress resumed session this week, and both sides seem itching for a fight.

On Monday, articles surfaced in the Washington Examiner and Politico, both citing unnamed sources that Ryan’s office is working with other House Republicans on the best way to punish those who took part in the fracas in June. Options range from resolutions stating such tactics should not be allowed or sanctioned moving forward, a reiteration of the body’s rules on cell phone use on the floor and rebuke of Dems who allegedly intimidated House floor staff including knocking items out their hands.

On the opposite side of the aisle, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi directed inquires to her past statements that no rules were broken in the protest.

Pelosi’s office also released a video on social media early Tuesday, chiding House leadership on inaction on Zika, Flint’s water problems, gun control and opioid abuse saying, “Congress is back in session after the longest recess in modern times. @HouseGOP will you finally #DoYourJob?”