Dems stage congressional sit-in to demand gun control after Orlando

In this image from video provided by House Television, House Speaker Paul Ryan stands at the podium as he brings the House into session Wednesday night, June 22, 2016, in Washington. Rebellious Democrats staged an extraordinary all-day sit-in on the House floor to demand votes on gun-control bills, shouting down Ryan when he attempted to restore order as their protest stretched into the night. The sit-in was well into its 10th hour, with Democrats camped out on the floor stopping legislative business in the House, when Ryan stepped to the podium to gavel the House into session and hold votes on routine business. Angry Democrats chanted “No bill, no break!” and waved pieces of paper with the names of gun victims, continuing their protest in the well of the House even as the House voted on a previously scheduled and unrelated measure to overturn an Obama veto.

In this image from video provided by House Television, House Speaker Paul Ryan stands at the podium as he brings the House into session Wednesday night, June 22, 2016, in Washington. Rebellious Democrats staged an extraordinary all-day sit-in on the House floor to demand votes on gun-control bills, shouting down Ryan when he attempted to restore order as their protest stretched into the night. The sit-in was well into its 10th hour, with Democrats camped out on the floor stopping legislative business in the House, when Ryan stepped to the podium to gavel the House into session and hold votes on routine business. Angry Democrats chanted “No bill, no break!” and waved pieces of paper with the names of gun victims, continuing their protest in the well of the House even as the House voted on a previously scheduled and unrelated measure to overturn an Obama veto. (House Television via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A drained and dwindling group of Democrats, some draped in blankets and toting pillows, carried their remarkable House floor sit-in past daybreak Thursday, disrupting the business of Congress in the wake of the Orlando shooting rampage with demands for gun-control votes in an extraordinary scene of protest broadcast live to the world.

Unyielding Republicans who control the chamber branded the move a publicity stunt and summarily adjourned the chamber at around 3:15 a.m. EDT until after the Fourth of July. By 7:30 a.m. Thursday — 20 hours after the protest commenced — around a dozen Democrats remained, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, giving speeches that mixed victory declarations with vows to never back down in their drive to curb firearm violence.

“While the Americans don’t always expect us to win, they do expect us to fight,” said Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, as dawn broke and the few remaining lawmakers sat in a paper-cluttered chamber beneath empty visitor galleries. “We demonstrated to the American why we can’t get votes on common sense safety measures.”

When Republicans streamed to the exits hours earlier, Democrats remained on the House floor, shouting “No bill no break!” and waving papers with the names of gun victims written in black. Rep. Maxine Waters of California said she was ready to stay “until Hell freezes over.”

With a crowd cheering them on from outside the Capitol and many more following the theatrics on social media, Democrats declared success in dramatizing the argument for action to stem gun violence.

“Just because they cut and run in the dark of night, just because they have left doesn’t mean we are taking no for an answer,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

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