All eight Democrats in Washington state’s congressional delegation were among dozens of House and Senate Democrats who staged a sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday to demand a vote on gun control legislation, King 5 News reported. The lawmakers sat on the floor and refused to allow Republicans to take back control. They took turns talking about gun violence, said they wouldn’t leave until House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., allowed a vote on measures to curb it, and chanted over and over “No bill, no break!”
“I’m joining Congressman John Lewis and my colleagues to demand a vote on commonsense, bipartisan legislation that would prevent suspected terrorists from walking into a gun store and legally buying deadly weapons,” Suzan DelBene of Washington’s 1st district said. “Congress should not wait until the next tragedy – we can and must do more to protect our communities from the tragic cycle of gun violence.”
“From Lynnwood to the San Juan Islands, over 160 people from my District called my office today – not to mention the thousands more who reached out on social media – to express support for the sit-in,” Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) said. “I heard from a teacher from Marysville School District. I heard from a lawyer who experienced a workplace shooting. These folks are fed up, and so am I. Gun violence is an epidemic that has affected too many people I represent. For years legislation to prevent gun violence has been a nonstarter, but – as shown by the incredible support from folks in my District and by the leadership of civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis – I believe as a country we are experiencing a turning point. There comes a time when – no matter the odds – you have to say ‘enough is enough’ and act. That is what is happening today on the House floor.”
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, a former congressman, was in the nation’s capitol and made an appearance on the House floor. Washington senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell also joined the protest.
No Republicans participated in the sit-in.