Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) made a plea for “order and respect for the system” on Thursday following the hours-long Democratic sit-in protesting the lack of a vote on ‘no-fly, no-buy’ legislation. The stunt concluded after a lengthy partisan standoff, that included the cutting off of C-SPAN Cameras which led to the broadcast of the protest via Periscope.
“We are not going to allow stunts like this to stop us from carrying out the people’s business. Why do I call this a stunt? Because it is one,” the frustrated Speaker said at a press conference.
Ryan noted that the measure that the Democrats wanted a vote on had already failed, and their actions were outside of the order of the House. The Speaker said that those participating in the sit-in could bring another vote to the floor by compiling a petition to do so with 218 signatures. Instead, he insisted, they resorted to political theater.
The Speaker also showcased fundraising emails the Democrats were sending out, using their sit-in to raise donations. Ryan blasted the concept of fundraising off tragedy.
After the Orlando shooting, Ryan has also come out against ‘no fly, no by’ as a violation of Americans’ due process rights.
“We want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again… But as we look at how to proceed, we also want to make sure that we’re not infringing upon people’s legitimate constitutional rights,” Ryan said during a press conference on Capitol Hill last week. “Is going after the Second Amendment how you stop terrorism? No.”
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Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), a civil rights icon who participated in sit-ins of the 1960s, led the protests as an act of civil disobedience. Ironically, Lewis himself was erroneously put on the list at one point for an entire year, meaning he would have been unable to buy a gun had his new proposal been law.