House Republicans are preparing to reprimand Democratic lawmakers for their controversial “sit-in” protest over gun control, sources told POLITICO.
The exact language is still in flux, and multiple sources said discussions are ongoing. But Speaker Paul Ryan’s office and other leadership staff have been researching ways they can punish Democrats for their controversial occupation of the House floor to protest the chamber’s lack of response to the Orlando, Florida shooting massacre.
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GOP lawmakers are expected to discuss the matter next week upon returning from their summer recess. While no votes have been scheduled, some members have been given notice that the response could come to the floor in September.
One option that’s been floated is a resolution broadly stating a sentiment that such tactics shouldn’t be allowed and will be sanctioned somehow going forward. Others are hoping Republicans will publicly rebuke certain Democrats they say “intimidated” nonpartisan House staff during the late-June incident.
The latter response was used to admonish Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) after he yelled, “You lie!” at President Barack Obama during a 2009 joint session of Congress. But this situation involves multiple lawmakers, so the same tack may not work.
One Republican source familiar with the ongoing discussions said their intent is to maintain decorum in the future and “protect the permanent employees of the House, who the Democrats treated with contempt.” GOP leaders want to make clear that such actions are “not acceptable” and won’t be tolerated.
House Republicans were furious when Democrats took over the House floor, a breach of decorum that shut down the chamber for 25 hours after Ryan refused to allow a vote on a gun-control bill. GOP lawmakers seethed in conference meetings following the incident — which garnered loads of favorable press for …